Reverse Sheltering-In-Place

Reverse Sheltering-In-Place

“Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” (Matt 8:20)

In Shawn’s text yesterday, the first two disciples asked Jesus, “Where are you staying?” (in response to Jesus’ question, “What are you seeking?”), which may seem like a strange question but which points to the deeper question of ‘what are we getting ourselves into’. Jesus’ response to them is, “Come and see”.

So they ‘come and see’ where Jesus is staying and what do we (as the readers) learn? Absolutely nothing! We don’t get any details about where Jesus is staying because it doesn’t actually matter. In fact, in the gospels of Matthew and Luke, Jesus will say “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”

Jesus has no permanent home or dwelling place, no base of operations from which to build His ministry. And what struck me is that Jesus has exactly the opposite issue to the one that we have right now! Where we are stuck in our homes, Jesus basically had no home to go to. Jesus was essentially Reverse Sheltering-In-Place.

And yet that didn’t matter as far as those first disciples choosing to follow Jesus. Did it make their lives harder and less comfortable? Was it inconvenient? Of course! Would it have been nice to have their own place? Sure!

But ultimately, following Jesus is about a person and not a place!

And the same is actually true for us who have the opposite problem! Being stuck in one place, doesn’t actually make any difference as far as following Jesus. Does it make our lives harder and less enjoyable being forced to shelter-in-place? Of course it does! But our ability to follow Jesus is not at all dependent on our location, and not at all hindered by being stuck in one location

Personally, this week, I have been greatly challenged by this realization – that following Jesus is completely unaffected by my location.

And so my prayer for each one of us is that we would live into our identity as Jesus followers, and even more so now, while we are limited in pretty much every other way.