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Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the son of man had no place to rest his head in this world.

Luke 9:51-62

51 As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. 52 And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; 53 but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. 54 When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?”55 But Jesus turned and rebuked them. 56 Then he and his disciples went to another village.

57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”

58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

59 He said to another man, “Follow me.”

But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”

60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”

61 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”

62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

Cross, Jesus, God, Holy Spirit, Daily Devotion, World

I find this passage really interesting and have found myself reading and re-reading it while trying to write my reflections on it. Jesus knows the time is coming near for his death and resurrection but the people around him don’t seem to understand things completely. The Samaritan village don’t want a bar of him because he is headed to Jerusalem and then along the way to Jerusalem he has others saying they will follow him, but after they look after this or that first. For me the standout verse of this passage is verse 58: Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” To me this sounds like Jesus’ declaration that he isn’t of this world, this world isn’t his home, unlike the animals and birds of the earth.

Jesus seems to be turning things on their head a little for the people who say they want to follow him. He is asking them to give up everything, including their family. He is asking them to stop prioritising the relationships of this world and focus on the kingdom of God. I don’t think he is saying not to have relationships but to put them in the right place in life. Don’t turn from following Jesus to prioritise a relationship. As a young adult I saw some of my friends do this and some of them ended up walking completely away from following Jesus to focus on relationships and having a home here on earth. If we are serious about following Jesus we shouldn’t be trying to be comfortable here on earth with a home and relationships, we should be focusing on the Kingdom of God. It may mean that we feel like we don’t fit in in this world and that is ok. If we are following Jesus’ footsteps this world isn’t our final home.

Head: Why do you think Jesus says “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”?

Heart: Are you putting your hand to the plow and not looking back? Or are you focusing on the relationships of this world?

Hands: How can we encourage each other today to keep our focus on the Kingdom of God? Is there a passage you can share with a friend? Could you get together with a college or fellow student and pray for your work place/ school/ university?

Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, we thank you for Jesus. We thank you that he wasn’t swayed by the things of this world but had his face set to Jerusalem for the sake of your kingdom. Please help us to have our focus set on your kingdom each and every day. Help us to put our relationships in the right place so that they help us to spread the message of your good news to the world. In Jesus precious name, Amen.

A song to listen to: Where I Belong

Emily Andrews

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