Like a hen sitting on her roost watching her chicks, Jesus longs to jump into the dust, the grime, and the danger to gather his people to him for protection. (Luke 13:31-35) The hen watches those chicks with protective eyes. She notices the fox lurking about on the edge of the farm yard, and is willing to place herself in harm’s way to provide safety for her chicks. She notices the dust and grime of the barnyard floor, and willingly leaves the clean comfort of her roost to gather her chicks to her side. She sees the harsh sun rays beating down in the heat of the day, and joyfully leaves the comfort of her cool shaded perch to shade her chicks with outspread wings.
The mother hen dirties herself, denies herself, and would ultimately sacrifice herself for the sake of those chicks. That’s an amazing image for the love of Jesus who longs to gather his people to his side. Willing to get dirty, willing to leave behind personal comforts, and willing to lay down his life; Jesus can’t wait to get into the barnyard to be with his chicks.
It’s a beautiful and amazing picture, but even more amazing when you read one verse earlier to see who these chicks are: those who have rebelled against their mother hen. Those who have rejected her love, who have left her side, who have even fought against the other chicks from her nest. These rebellious ones who have persecuted the prophets and rejected the Word of God are the ones that Jesus can wait to rescue. He longs to jump into the mess of life in order to rescue those who are far from him. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us!