Jump Start # 2278
Matthew 8:20 “Jesus *said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”
Jesus has no place to lay His head. The Lord said this after someone boldly proclaimed that he would follow Jesus anywhere. He didn’t know what he was saying. There wasn’t going to be a ticker-tape parade. There wasn’t going to be state dinners at palaces. There wasn’t going to be guest of honor banquets. The road ahead was lonely and tough. It would lead to arrests, trials and a state execution. The disciples would scatter. Peter would deny. The Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.
That statement leads us to wonder, “Where did Jesus sleep at night?” At the end of a long day, you and I go home. After a vacation, we long for our own beds. Coffee seems to taste better out of our own coffee cup. There is nothing like our own pillow at night. But what about Jesus?
Preachers often are kept by brethren when they travel to different churches to preach. I’ve done that for years. Folks are nice. They do their best, but often it’s still a bit awkward. It’s not home. Every preacher has stories and most of us just keep quiet about these things and understand that this is the nature of things. I’ve had family dogs licking my face in the morning. I don’t have a dog at home. Sometimes the guest bedroom is the pull out couch in the living room, which means you must be the last one to bed and the first one up because the entire family marches through there to get to the kitchen. There has been times when a room is shared with a small child, which is awkward. There has been times when the clothes stay in the suitcase because there is no available space to hang things. There has been times when there is one bathroom and one must wait until mom, dad and the kids are finished and out the house before you can go and get cleaned up. There are times when there is one family TV and you sit around watching shows that they love but are of no interest to you. Given the choice, most would rather be put in a hotel where there is more privacy, down time and freedom to come and go as one wants.
We don’t know where Jesus slept. The home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus would be a good guess when in Bethany. But what about the other places? Inns? Friends? Sleeping outside? Jesus didn’t have a permanent street address to call home. At the end of the day, there was no place to unwind. He couldn’t sigh and say, “No place like home.” There was no place. He owned no home. He didn’t have His own coffee cup, His favorite chair, or, even a desk to sit at and write. Somehow I don’t see Jesus traveling about with a backpack with extra clothes. Did he even carry a comb to run through His hair every morning?
Now, none of these things really matter, nor do they change the Gospel message. However, they point to things that we often overlook.
First, Jesus needed others while on earth. We can say that God doesn’t need anything and God doesn’t need us. That’s true of God in Heaven. But on earth, Jesus needed others. He needed a place to sleep. He needed a skillet to cook food in. He needed the help of others. Today, Jesus needs our help. The Gospel needs to be taught. People need to be encouraged. The world is spinning out of control and sinking deeper into sin. Our culture is becoming more and more secular. Jesus needs a voice, our voice. Jesus needs a pen, our pens. He needs our hands. He needs our eyes. He needs our feet. He needs our time, effort and energy. If all Christians stopped what they were doing, there would still be disciples. A person could read the Bible on their own, but it would be hard. The kingdom thrives when we pour our efforts, money and talents into the Gospel call.
Second, we don’t know the names of all the people who housed Jesus. Aside from Mary, Martha and Lazarus, we are at a loss to know who kept Jesus. And, that may be just the point. While we may be the hands, feet and eyes of the Lord today, the glory doesn’t go to us, nor does it belong to us. All eyes look to Jesus. Our work is nothing compared to what He has done. It’s not about us, but it is about Him. We need to stop blowing our own horn and point others to Jesus. It’s not about the church, it’s about Jesus. It’s not about how nice the church building is, but how nice Jesus is. It’s not about the size of the congregation, but the size of His heart. Stop looking at us and look to Him.
Third, following Jesus is difficult. That’s the point of our passage. It’s not a vacation. It’s not a pleasure trip. And, no, not everyone can do it because some do not have the faith, the courage, nor the fortitude to endure. They could, but they won’t. People love darkness rather than the light. We will be hated because of Jesus. There will be people who whisper about you. There will be occasions when you are not invited. There will be some who try to sabotage your job. There will be some who make fun of you. All of these things are not right, nor fair, but remember, you and I have a place to lay our heads, and Jesus didn’t.
Finally, imagine Jesus spending a night at your place. How would that make you feel? Would you be nervous? Could you hold a conversation with Jesus? What would you eat in the morning? Would you feel uncomfortable with Jesus being around?
Jesus came into our world, so one day, we could live in His world.