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! (Matthew 23:37, NKJV)

Throughout scripture, Jesus revealed masculine traits like boldness, courage, strength, and initiative. Yet toward the end of his earthly ministry, after pronouncing seven woes upon the religious leaders, Jesus described His love for the children of Israel as that of a mother hen. He wanted them all in the nest—together, sheltered, protected, nurtured, and safe. How striking of Jesus to evoke a maternal image!

A mother’s love is different from a father’s. He provides and protects outwardly. She feeds and nurtures inwardly. She senses the needs of their inner lives—hopes, dreams, heartaches, and joys—and places their well being above her own. Born of this sacrificial love, Jesus has gone to prepare a perfect nest for His children, where one day He will gather us all together, and the sound of weeping will never be heard.