Matthew 8:20 “And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath nowhere to lay his head.”
One night after a service at a homeless mission, a man approached me and said, “I disagree with you about something.” I do not remember the area of disagreement. I replied, “OK, that’s good.” He looked at me strangely with a questioning look.
He responded, “OK?????” “Sure it’s OK,” I said, “first that means you were listening and secondly, it means you are thinking.” All teachers should want their students to listen and think.
Another night I was teaching on the divinity of Christ. I am aware that some denominations do not recognize that Jesus was God incarnate (to make or to be flesh) but the scripture says otherwise.
The Apostle Paul calls Jesus our “great God and Savior” (Titus 2:13). Jesus also is directly referred to as the Creator Himself (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16-17). Jesus said in John 10: 30, “I and my Father are one.” Also, the sacrificial death of Jesus on the cross could not have sufficed as an atonement for sin had He not been without sin. And, He could have not been without sin had He been a mere mortal.
A man in the center of the about 70 in attendance that night raised his hand and said, “I’ve got a question.” That was unusual, but I’m adaptable, so I said, “OK, shoot.”
He asked “If Jesus was God, why did He pray in the Garden of Gethsemane, wouldn’t it have been like He was talking to Himself?” Before I could answer, another man on the front row, raised his hand and said, “Can I answer that?” By this time the class was shot (so I thought at the time). So I said “Sure, jump right in.”
He read a scripture verifying Jesus is God, (Colossians 2: 9-10), then several others got in the conversation with substantiating scripture. When the discussion was winding down, the first man with the question looked right at me and said, “I want to know what you think!”
I answered, “Of course, I regard all those scriptures the others read as verification, but my best answer is, if the God that created this universe and everything in it by His spoken word; I’m thinking if He wants to become flesh and offer Himself up as a living sacrifice for our sins, He is fully capable of doing exactly that.”
His reply, “That makes sense.” Six prayed to receive Jesus that night.
For about 25 years, we either provided or helped with services at a mission for the homeless. Many seem to think that all homeless are drug addicts or alcoholics. That is absolutely not the case. Others believe they are homeless by choice. There are so many misconceptions concerning the homeless. The simple fact is most are victims of unfortunate circumstances that anyone could experience.
Homelessness among children in America was, until recently, at an all-time high. With the rebirth of American industry in the last two years, that number has decreased. With parents going back to work, children again have homes. Jesus was homeless as a baby. The story of Mary and Joseph, taking Jesus and fleeing into Egypt, is documented in Matthew 2.
Matthew 2:13-14 “And when the wise men were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt.”
Jesus was a homeless person during the three years of His earthly ministry. The disciples also became homeless to follow Him during that same three years and after the ascension into their ministry.
Matthew 8: 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.”
A few over the years have asked, “Aren’t you afraid to take women to the mission?” I have never had a woman report any type of behavior that would have been considered inappropriate. Some have even said they were surprised how gentlemanly the residents were. We took refreshments for a social time after the services. One of our ladies expressed appreciation at how the residents were considerate of others in not taking too much of a particular dessert.
We tend to insulate ourselves from the homeless. We drive down a street and see a homeless person and try to act like we don’t see them. This is a very unfortunate and disturbing situation from which we would prefer to distance ourselves.
I was occasionally surprised at the various people groups and professions that by unfortunate circumstances or bad decisions found themselves homeless. Numerous college graduates, business people, teachers, former students and others find themselves homeless at times. There are many myths of the homeless but few of them are accurate. Homelessness is not confined to any specific people group, occupation or type.
Others believe homeless people are shallow or mentally incapable of holding jobs or maintaining a home. Nothing is farther from the truth. I have had conversations with men and women at homeless missions that were extremely well read in the Bible and I found to be extremely intelligent.
The truth is I’ve probably learned more from them than they have from me.
Of the hundreds I have met and talked to, numerous denominations and beliefs were represented. I feel very blessed to have known them; men, women and children.
Writers note: If anyone/any church feels so compelled, you might consider a homeless ministry.
Words cannot describe the blessings I’ve had from those I’ve met.