Jesus as a Grieving Mother: Luke 13:34

Jesus as a Grieving Mother

Luke 13:34

Mothers grieve over their rebellious children. Luke’s portrait of Jesus grieving over Jerusalem is dramatic. Jesus is depicted as a brokenhearted mum, lamenting over her stubborn children.

Like a mother weeping over children who have rejected her, Jesus laments, he grieves and in doing so, is shown to be the living embodiment of Israel’s God.

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her: how often I have longed to gather your children together in the manner that a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing.”{to be gathered} Luke 13:34

Jesus laments over the stubborn city of Jerusalem. Its people have rejected him as Messiah and Lord. Despite the fact that he knows they will soon throw him under the bus, unjustly crucifying him as a common criminal—the ultimate rejection—Jesus yet laments over them.

He grieves over them like a mother without self-pity. He doesn’t plot revenge. He doesn’t hate them for their stubbornness. He doesn’t wish them evil. He doesn’t call down curses on them. Instead, in the face of certain rejection, Jesus grieves as a brokenhearted mother.

Jesus’ heart-felt care mingled with grief echoes God’s care for His people.

“As an eagle stirs up its nest, and hovers over its young, as it spreads its wings, takes them up, and bears them aloft on its pinions, the LORD alone guided him.” Deut 32:10-12

"Under His wings you will find refuge.” Ps. 91:4

Astonishingly, the providential care of Israel’s God and the cry of Jesus’ heart are shown to be parallel. Just as Israel rejected the God who spread His wings over them, so also Jerusalem rejected Jesus, portrayed as a loving mother, longing to spread her wings over them.

Luke wants to persuade us that Jesus is more than a disappointed mother. He is no less than the living embodiment of Israel’s God. The outstretched wings of Jesus belong to none other than the outstretched wings of Israel’s God.

Those wings still reach out today to gather a brood. Is he reaching his wings out to you? Have you been gathered? Are you safe and secure, gathered under the shadow of His wings?

Or, have you stubbornly resisted the shelter of those wings? Have you rejected the security of those care-filled wings belonging to the Lord God? Does Jesus still lament over you? Is he saying to you: “how often I have longed to gather you under my wings?” But, sadly, like the children of Jerusalem, are you still unwilling? That cry of Jesus to you comes from the heart of Israel’s God. Can you hear that cry? Can you see those wings stretched out to you?

Reconsider your stubbornness. Hear his lament over you. See his wings outstretched to you. Lower the dark flag of resistance and in its place raise the flag of surrender. By faith, run to the wings of Jesus today and discover the safety and security of life hidden under the shadow of his wings. There you may abide safely forever.

Under His wings, under His wings,
  who from His love can sever?
Under His wings my soul shall abide,
    safely abide forever.

Tim ColeJesus, Mothers