Matthew 8:20 “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

     Jesus didn’t feel all that welcome in the world at the time that He was with us in body.  Barnes’ Notes tells us; “The very foxes and birds, says he, have places of repose and shelter, but the Son of man has no home and no pillow. He is a stranger in his own world – a wanderer and an outcast from the homes of people.” Jesus was not well received; “He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” (John 1:11)

     Like many at that time, we would like to follow Jesus as long as He doesn’t follow us home or to where we make our living.  Jesus tells us he’s ready to come for a visit; “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” (Revelation 3:20)  Better to just visit Jesus once a week in church and bring the kids along for a visitation.

     Sometimes we do hear Him, in a particularly rousing message by a pastor we like or as attendees of a concert where a big name Christian performer stirs up the crowd with wonderful songs.  Then we impulsively declare in our hearts – ‘We’ll follow You anywhere.”  We never think that Jesus hears what we say in our hearts, loud and clear, all the way up to His throne in Heaven.  He’s heard it all!

     When we hear Him calling to us, all too often we respond like the ‘thorny ground’ in His parable of the sower; “The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced.” (Matthew 13:20)  Thankfully, He understands our frailties and selfishness even if we don’t.

     Everybody wants to make the BIG COMMITMENT.  How about starting small – try being kind to your neighbour.  Try doing to others what you would like others to do to you – start with your spouse and kids. Take a good look at yourself in the mirror and pray for the mess; “And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.” (Luke 18:13)

     Don’t worry about being seen with Jesus in public.  Start meeting Him at home when nobody is around. Or take a few quiet moments with Him at work during your coffee break  If you do that you may find He’ll start showing up just when you’re ready to really blast someone either at home or at work.  He may start telling you to not take that beer ’cause you got to drive yourself home.  He may just start telling you when  to ‘shut up’ or ‘speak up’ when you think you should be doing the opposite.

     Practicing the small stuff on a regular basis, leaving the BIG COMMITMENT to the ‘big shots’, will over time build you up.  Before you know it you’ll be running after Jesus.  You life will become a testimony to His Word; “. . .  we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  (Hebrews 12:1,2)

     You’ll stop half living in the sidelines and start living with your eye on Jesus, your coach.

     Praise the Lord.