And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” Matthew 8:20
I have always heard it said about this passage that Jesus was telling the scribe that He was homeless, or He didn’t have a place to sleep. That may or may not be true, I don’t know. However, it doesn’t mean that it is wrong if you do have a home. It doesn’t mean that you have to be homeless to be a disciple.
What Jesus was telling the man was a little deeper than that. Jesus wanted him to consider the lifestyle that was lived as a disciple or one who stayed with Jesus all the time. It was constant. This wasn’t a time for retreat or for relaxation, it was full time ministry. Jesus knew that he was here in the world for a short time and pressed hard to ensure that He completed His mission down to the last detail. He never said to His disciples, “Tomorrow, I’m taking the day off to go be by myself for a while.” He did get up early to spend quiet time with God before the day started, but that was by far anything like a vacation.
Jesus said: “Even animals have a place of rest and retreat, but there is no time in this ministry for your own agenda.” In the very next section of this chapter, Jesus is on a boat laying His head down to sleep. So, we know that He took time to give His body rest. What He didn’t do is take time to go off on His own to pursue His dreams and aspirations. We know this because His focus was the cross and the mission He came to earth for. But He didn’t dream about that day. In fact, right before it was time for Him to be crucified, He pleaded with His Father to come up with another plan to provide redemption for people.
How does this apply to us today? What message is Jesus sending to His disciples of that day and this one? Certainly, He doesn’t expect us all to sell all our belongings and walk around homeless, reaching out to people? What He does expect is that we are on His mission. We are here in the world on assignment, and that is what our day-to-day focus should be. God’s plan is not for His children to live this life the way someone without Him does. He never planned that we would settle down, have 2.5 children, work a job for 40 years and then retire to travel the world on vacation at the end. His plan is for us to reach this lost and dying world every day, wherever we are. Just as Jesus was on mission right where He was by teaching the crowds, training His followers and ministering to the broken ones, that is what He expects us to do.
Today I want to encourage you to stop walking around people and ignoring those who clearly need a Savior. Make it a priority to notice who is around you each day and what they are going through. Don’t look at others and judge if they are worthy of your attention or love. Make all people that you come into contact with feel the love of God in your presence. Then be ready to share His love when the opportunity presents itself. Decide today to get off of your agenda and mission and walk out the assignments you were designed to complete before your time here runs out. Seek His direction each morning before you go out into your day and then check inward often to make sure you don’t miss any detail of what you are here to do.
Today’s scripture reading: Matthew 8:18-27
18 And when Jesus saw great multitudes about Him, He gave a command to depart to the other side.
19 Then a certain scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.”
20 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”
21 Then another of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”
22 But Jesus said to him, “Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”
23 Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him.
24 And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep.
25 Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!”
26 But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.
27 So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”