He was Homeless.  It is hard for most of us to
imagine being homeless. The idea of being homeless never crosses our minds,
until we see that person living in a cardboard box, or that family living in a
station wagon, or those people under an overpass warming themselves by a fire.
When we see them we might have pity or we might think of them “losers.” Rather
than a “loser,” I believe Jesus would rather we see them as “lost.” If anyone in
life has ever lost, it is he who has lost his home. Jesus came to seek and to
save that which was lost. Some people live in castles, some find rest among the
catacombs, but even there some find comfort and protection from the harsh
elements of the world. Jesus said, “the foxes have holes, and the birds of the
air have their nest, but the Son of Man has no where to lay His head.” The
writer of Hebrews says that He was “touched with the feeling of our
infirmities.” Few know what it is to feel the infirmity of being “homeless.”
Most of us have some door to close at night. Most have a hearth. Most have a
place to go. Almost as if to teach us that this world is not our home, the Lord
Jesus was (at least for three and a half years) homeless. Many people are
homeless in this world. Jesus identified with them. And no more than He knew,
that this world is not our home..

He was born in a stable. He and His parents were
refuges in Egypt. He was an itinerant preacher that slept under the canopy of
heaven, when He didn’t have a home to go to. There are lessons even in this
“homelessness” of our Lord.

Jesus went where He was welcome. Once again His
homelessness was a test for us more than it was a trial for Him. From the first
foolish innkeeper at Bethlehem, to doorman at the church at Laodicea, woe to the
person or group that has no room for Jesus. That the Son of God should have to
sleep in our streets is an indictment against us. And that a whole generation
missed Him when he stood on their doorstep is a shameful breach of law of love
and kindness. “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.”

The next time we turn the key to our well
constructed homes (which, by the way, would make Herod the Great green with
jealousy) let us think of the Homeless Son of God who was not welcome in this
world. Isaiah called Him “rejected.”

“Where dwellest thou?” Asked two of John’s
disciples. Jesus answered “Come and see.” Think of what “hospitality” is to the
homeless. Generally, today our hospitality is to those who need it least. There
was a time when there were no such things as hotels. Travelers found “hostels”
or inns where they could take shelter and maybe find a bite to eat. Such a place
is described in the story of the Good Samaritan. In that parable, the religious
crowd (priest and Levite) were of no help to the wounded soul on the Jericho
road. They either ignored him or gave him a wide berth. The Samaritan did what
he could and brought him to shelter. A homeless person needs shelter. While the
church still has “homeless shelters,” few are involved in this messy ministry.
Even fewer would even think to open up their own home to a stranger. The
homeless also need love. They need to see our love, but more than that, they
need to know God’s love.

The second thing we might learn from Christ’s
self-imposed homelessness (as an traveling minister) was that life is a
pilgrimage. We are all on our way to eternity. We are just passing through this
world unto a “world to come” (Lk. 18:30). We all need stopping off places along
the way. We sometimes think of Christ as “that homeless stranger.” It might be
better to say that He was “houseless.” When the Lord Jesus spoke of home, He
spoke of the Father’s house. It is one thing to be houseless and another to be
homeless. The Christian can never be homeless, even if he finds himself far from
home. Some have found themselves houseless, because of war, or fire, or
earthquakes, floods, tornados and hurricanes. Under such circumstances, the
believer remembers that “this world is not my home, I just–a–passing through,”
as the song goes. If you have never been “houseless” praise God, but look around
at the many not as fortunate and remember the Good Samaritan.

If you are not “houseless” or “homeless” should
not that house be dedicated to God. Joshua said “as for me and my house, we will
serve the LORD.” Consider how blessed a home might be if it is dedicated to God.
Think of how blessed it might become when the Lord Jesus is welcomed in. The New
Testament is filled with homes that held precious memories of being visited by
such a Special Guest. If He were not “homeless,” perhaps He would not have gone
into so many homes, or sat at so many tables. He was homeless in order to give
us an opportunity to welcome Him. Consider that happy home in Cana where He
changed the water into wine. Consider the home in Bethany where Mary, Martha,
and Lazarus were blessed by His presence. Consider what would have happened (or
not happened) on the road to Emmaus if those disciples had not “constrained him,
saying, Abide with us” (Lk. 24:29). In Hebrews 2:9 we learn that some have
“entertained angels unaware.” The Lord instructed his disciples to look for the
spirit of holy hospitality as they ministered (Lk. 10:5). Hospitality is a
spiritual gift. The gift of hospitality is not so much the ability to
“entertain,” but the ability to make someone “feel welcome.”

A house is not a home. When the Lord spoke
about the house in Mat. 7:24 He was not speaking about curtains or parquet
floors. He was talking about a small community of faith that was founded on the
solid foundation of God’s word. Too many are “homeless” because they did not
heed the Builder’s advice. Instead, they built on the sand of emotions,
feelings, superstitions, or self-will only to have everything washed away in
some great storm of life. The Lord Jesus came into our world as a poor traveling
stranger. He was also homeless. He became “poor” in order that we might become
something “rich.” (2 Cor. 8:9) On His way to the cross, His “poverty” left us
many lessons. Because He was also “sinless,” this single death offers salvation
to all and no one needs to be God-less.