As a Hen Gathers Her Chicks

On the last day of Jesus’ public ministry, the Tuesday before He was betrayed on Thursday night, when Jesus left the temple courts He said,

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! 38 See! Your house is left to you desolate; 39 for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!” (Matthew 23:37-39).

The imagery of a mother hen shielding her chicks may need explaining to those (city dwellers) who have not seen this display of instinctive protection. It is not “learned behavior;” it is God-given and natural. When danger is perceived, the chicks run to the hen for safety and security.

I could not help but think of the above passage when I saw this scene in Galilee.

Chicks going to the mother hen. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

When I initially approached to take the photo the chicks were a bit scattered. But as I advanced closer, they all went right to the mother hen.

Jesus wanted the inhabitants of Jerusalem to come to Him, for safety, security and for salvation. But sadly, they were not willing. Man is unique to creation. We don’t merely act instinctively. God has given us freedom of choice. He appeals to our heart, He beckons through the Gospel, but He will not force.

For a related post, “Not One Stone Upon Another,” see here.

Click on image for larger view.

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