As a Hen Gathers Her Brood

brown and black hen with peep of chick outdoor

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on Pexels.com

 

Reading the Word

Matthew 23:37–39 (ESV)

37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! 38 See, your house is left to you desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’ ”

Parallel Text: Luke 13:34-35

Understanding and Applying the Word

After pronouncing woes on the Pharisees and scribes in the previous verses, Jesus laments over the people of Israel. Jerusalem was the city chosen by God to make his presence specially known to his people through the temple and the worship surrounding it. It was the place, more than any other, that was centered on the word of God and was the pride of the nation because it was the city of the Lord.

Jerusalem, the city of God, had become the city that killed the prophets. The people had closed their ears to the word of God and rejected those God had sent to speak to them. As a result, city and the people would be judged. Jesus proclaimed, “How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!” In these words we see the Lord’s compassion for the people in the pronouncement of judgment. We also see Jesus’ claim to be more than just another prophet. He claimed to be the one who had been desiring to gather the people. e sent the prophets who had been rejected and now he had also been rejected.

Jesus’ last words look forward to a future time when the people of God will be gathered together and will be in the presence of Jesus. Christ will one day come again and believers from every tribe and nation will be gathered to be with him for eternity. In that day, it will be those who have heard the prophetic word of the written Scriptures and responded in faith who will be gathered together under the wings of Christ. Even now, Jesus calls to us with compassion and desires for us to find shelter in him. Will you go to him?

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Recognizing Jesus

Closed Bible

Reading the Word

Luke 19:41–44 (ESV)

41 And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42 saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side 44 and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

Understanding and Applying the Word

As Jesus drew near to Jerusalem, the people were excited and praised him. However, unlike the crowds, Jesus wept. Jerusalem, the city of peace, was being visited by their Messiah, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), but the religious leaders had rejected Jesus. They did not understand that salvation had come to them in the person of Jesus, God in the flesh. Peace would not be theirs, but the city would be destroyed (as it was in A.D. 70).

The rejection of Jesus by the Jewish religious leaders and many of the people is a warning to us. We must be careful that we do not fail to know Jesus for who he truly is. The religious leaders and the Jewish people had the Scriptures and had been the recipients of God’s grace for many, many years. However, when the promised Messiah showed up, the majority failed to recognize him. We can make the same mistake if we do not know what the Scriptures say. Even Jesus said that there will be many who call out to him, “Lord, Lord!”, but he will say, “I never knew you.” Make it a point to know the word of God. It is through the word that we know our Savior and the Good News of salvation through his life, death, and resurrection. Study it on your own and go to a church that makes the teaching and preaching of the word its priority.

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Glorious Things of You Are Spoken

Sky City Title

Reading the Word

Psalm 87:1–7 (ESV)

1 On the holy mount stands the city he founded; 2 the Lord loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwelling places of Jacob. 3 Glorious things of you are spoken, O city of God. Selah 4 Among those who know me I mention Rahab and Babylon; behold, Philistia and Tyre, with Cush— “This one was born there,” they say. 5 And of Zion it shall be said, “This one and that one were born in her”; for the Most High himself will establish her. 6 The Lord records as he registers the peoples, “This one was born there.” Selah 7 Singers and dancers alike say, “All my springs are in you.”

Understanding and Applying the Word

This psalm pictures a day when not only Israel, but all the nations, look to Zion (i.e. Jerusalem) as their spiritual home. Jew and Gentile alike look to the city and speak glorious things about it. Even nations that were the enemies of the Jewish people are listed: Rahab (i.e Egypt), Babylon, Philistia, Tyre, and Cush (i.e. Ethiopia). When the people are registered, it will be recorded “This one was born there,” to show that they are all the people of God.

Scripture tells us of a day when all the nations of the earth will gather in the New Jerusalem and worship God. Those who have trusted in Jesus Christ will be counted among the people of God. Those who belong to God will be bound together by their shared faith. Even now, we get a glimpse of this future when we look at the Church, which is made up of every nation, tribe, and tongue. What a beautiful city God is building!

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The New Jerusalem

Jerusalem Skyline

Reading the Word

Revelation 21:9–21 (ESV)

9 Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. 12 It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed— 13 on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 15 And the one who spoke with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and walls. 16 The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its width. And he measured the city with his rod, 12,000 stadia. Its length and width and height are equal. 17 He also measured its wall, 144 cubits by human measurement, which is also an angel’s measurement. 18 The wall was built of jasper, while the city was pure gold, like clear glass. 19 The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. 21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.

Understanding and Applying the Word

John is now transported to a high mountain where he gets a spectacular view of the new Jerusalem coming down from heaven to the new earth. The city is described as being beautiful and glorious, reflecting the glory of God. It is large and well-protected.

The vision of the new Jerusalem is a picture of God’s people living together in community in the presence of God. They are protected from the presence of sin and evil and the community lives in the presence of the glory of God. Such an amazing vision!

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!