Others often describe Jesus in his day as the Lamb of God. In the Gospel passage read this week in church, he describes himself not as a lamb who will be slain, but as a Mother Hen who wishes to save the ones who reject him.
The image is both familiar and foreign to us because while we know about hens and chicks, few of us have enough familiarity with foxes and hens to get at Jesus’ meaning here. But the people of his time understood him – as do people today in parts of the world where they raise chickens out of doors.
Jesus is our Savior. He came to shield us, to save us. We often neglect that when we talk about him, seeking to uncover the hidden historical contexts or plumb the deeper meaning of his words. But that role, the role of the savior, is the key to unlocking so much of the Gospel. And it is a call to us who seek to imitate him, to find ways we can save others.