And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head (Mt 8: 20; Lk 9: 5).

This is a much quoted passage of scripture that is often interpreted to mean that Jesus was a penniless individual. However, when the scripture is examined in its entirety, we will realize that the Lord was speaking in a particular context. When we read the preceding chapters of the book of Matthew, for example, we see Him going into the wilderness, then into Galilee, teaching the people in a mountain, then into Capernaum. Although He owned a home in Capernaum, He was hardly ever there, spending much of His time travelling to the cities and villages to preach the gospel. He would lodge in homes wherever He was welcomed. This was His life.

The scribe who came to Him was described by Matthew as “a certain scribe”, possibly someone who was well known. As an interpreter and teacher of the law, this man must have been awed by Jesus’ teachings, and may have wanted to remain in close contact in order to learn more about the law. However, maybe the scribe did not have the devotion to make a full commitment to Jesus’ ministry. He saw the glory and not the gory. Jesus’ response to him seemed to have been made with some humor and it seems that His tongue is in His cheek – OK, if you want to follow me, remember that the foxes and the birds are better off than the Son of Man.

Jesus appeared to be laughing as He told the scribe, that there was no place for me between the ground and the air! Notice that He referred only to His sleeping arrangements and not to a lack of earthly possessions. Furthermore, Jesus was easily able to fall asleep anywhere He chose, for example, on the ship in the middle of a storm.

More next time and blessings!

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