The Fox and the Hen
Jesus sorrows over Jerusalem.
Tell the story about "The Fox and the Little Red Hen" (see story and picture below sermon)
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn't’t let me." Luke 13:34 NLT
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As you may know, the fox and the hen are natural enemies. I remember, as a child, reading a story called "The Fox and the Little Red Hen". In the story, Papa Fox sneaked up quiety behind the little red hen, grabbed her, and put her into his bag. Then he quickly ran off down the hill toward his home to eat some chicken dinner. Inside the fox's bag, the little red hen remembered that she had some scissors in her pocket. So, when the fox stopped to rest, she cut a hole in the bag, slipped out, put a large stone in the bag, and ran away. When the fox got home, all he had in his bag was a stone. The little red hen was too smart for the sly old fox!
In our Bible lesson today, a group of religious leaders went to Jesus and said to him, "Get away from here if you want to live! Herod Antipas wants to kill you!"
Jesus replied, "Go tell that fox that I will keep on casting out demons and healing people today and tomorrow; and the third day I will accomplish my purpose. Yes, today, tomorrow, and the next day I must go about my business. It just wouldn't do for a prophet of God to be killed anywhere but in Jerusalem."
Then Jesus went on to compare himself to a mother hen. "Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones Godâs messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldnât let me."
What a beautiful picture of Jesus. The fox couldn't defeat him, but like a mother hen gathers her chicks beneath her wings to protect them, Jesus willingly gave himself to save his childrenâeven though they had rejected him time and time again. Jesus still loves his children today. He still wants to gather them in his arms and protect them and care for them. Sometimes, we stray away, but Jesus still loves us just the same. That's the kind of love he has for you and me.
Father, we thank you that Jesus loves and protects us like a mother hen protects her chicks. Keep us near to him and may we never stray from him. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.