Take action: How to help the homeless
“Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple, and each evening He went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives, and all the people came early in the morning to hear Him at the temple.” (Luke 21:37-38)
Have you ever contemplated the homelessness of Jesus?
“Jesus replied, ‘Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.’” (Matthew 8:20)
This is more than just a metaphorical picture. Jesus didn’t have a home. The Bible doesn’t mention Him owning anything. In the midst of recording Jesus’ teaching, Luke casually mentions that Jesus spent each night on the Mount of Olives, the hill outside Jerusalem.
Though the gospel writers give little attention to this fact, we dare not romanticize it. Surely Jesus did experience beautiful evenings in the olive grove, away from the crowds, with the stars shining overhead. But other nights it rained or even snowed. Sometimes cold winds blew. Jesus endured hard ground, darkness and loneliness.
How does Jesus’ homelessness impact us? Though not a command that we must follow, it does require us to pause and think. Too often the desire for comfort drives me. Luxury and convenience become needs rather than wants. Material possessions clutter my focus and prevent me from seeking God. I stress about many things. Jesus owned nothing, yet He didn’t worry about His next meal. He trusted God for everything He needed.
I also need to consider my attitudes toward others. Though Jesus likely trained as a carpenter, during the three years of His ministry He didn’t work to provide for Himself or for His mother. Did people look at Him and say, “Get a job”? Jesus can help me see differently, because He knows what it’s like to be homeless.
Holy God, open my eyes to what you want to teach me through these verses. I want to trust You and not worry, to seek You instead of my own comfort, to see every person through Your eyes. Amen
Questions: Does knowing Jesus was homeless change your perspective toward the homeless in your city? What is God nudging you to change as you consider Jesus’ homelessness?