Bible study: Living under God’s wings

Animal FarmingBible study

By Dr Hannah Swithinbank 

The Bible is a story of God’s relationship with people. In his covenant with the people of Israel, in the journey to the Promised Land and in his sending of Jesus Christ we see him reaching out to us, seeking to gather us to him, to live with him and be looked after by him. 

And yet, from the very beginning, people have tried to go their own way. We often think we know better than God about what is good for us, and so we have left him, scattering to try and find it.

Like chickens, we are capable of surviving on our own: scratching around on earth, trying to survive. But, like chickens, our lives are better when we are looked after by someone – and God wants to be that someone. 

Read Luke 13:31-35

  • How does the picture of Jesus as being like a hen looking after her chicks make you feel? n Do you think that coming under God’s wings and depending on him will make life easy?
  • If not, why do you think it might be worthwhile anyway? 

Jesus’ life, death and resurrection show us that it is better to make ourselves dependent on God rather than on worldly powers (like Herod) because it leads to a life that we share with him for eternity. 

Read Luke 12:22-32 

  • What does Jesus say that God will provide?
  • What do you worry about?
  • What do you think it would mean to hand those worries over to Jesus? What would your life be like? 

In this passage Jesus is not telling his disciples that they should live irresponsibly. He is not telling them to stop farming or stop trying to make sure they have things to wear. He is telling them not to worry about these things so much that it makes their lives miserable and leads them to do things that are not a part of God’s way of life to survive. They need to remember how completely God can look after them, and how much he wants us to depend on him. 

Dr Hannah Swithinbank is a Researcher in the Integral Mission team at Tearfund.

Hannah Swithinbank
Hannah Swithinbank is Tearfund’s Theology & Network Engagement Manager.