Do you know where this saying it comes from?
You can find it in Matthew 8:18
“Now when Jesus saw a crowd around Him, He gave orders to depart to the other side of the sea. 19 Then a scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.” 20 Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” 21 Another of the disciples said to Him, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” 22 But Jesus said to him, “Follow Me, and allow the dead to bury their own dead.”
That is an odd thing to say to someone who wants to follow you, isn’t it? What does Jesus mean?
A scribe in the Bible, was a man learned in the Mosaic law and in the sacred writings, an interpreter, teacher. Scribes examined the more difficult and subtle questions of the law; added to the Mosaic law decisions of various kinds thought to elucidate its meaning and scope, and did this to the detriment of religion.
Scribes were trained and enrolled in the Sanhedrin political and judicial council headed by the high priest (in his role as civil ruler); in the Talmud it is described as primarily a religious legislative body headed by sages, though with certain political and judicial functions. (notes from the Online Bible edition)
So, Jesus tells this Scribe, this judge and sage, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”
Foxes retreat to the safety of their lair. They live and remain in their holes, venturing out only to gather food and water, then they scurry back to the safety of the hole. Their focus is on their safety and their hole in the ground.
Same for the birds. They have the nest they build to lay eggs and raise their young. A safe place. They, too, venture out for food, but their focus is on the safety of a nest.
BUILDING HIS CHURCH
Jesus, however, is on mission. He knows that He is the permanent sacrifice for the reconciliation of all people to God. He is doing the work of His Father. Time is short.
He is telling this scribe and His disciples that He has neither the time nor the intention of settling into a “hole in the ground” or building “a nest” into which they can settle down and feel safe.
He has no time for building programs, no time for social programs, no time for endless debate over the ‘cummin and dill’ of the Torah or the endless list of man’s constructs designed to explain and contain the Holy Scriptures. No time for holes in the ground or nests.
Jesus is saying that He is the foundation of His Church, and He is on the move, building His Church. He is the foundation for Temple of the Holy Spirit in the hearts, minds and souls of people.
His Church is Spiritually alive, organic and naturally fluid and on the move; It cannot be contained by a program or an institution. It is powerful, transformative, life changing, world altering and cannot be taught in a school on religion.
If you come to know Jesus, you will know His Church and it is not to be found in a building, a hole in the ground or a nest.
THE CHURCH WAS A MOVEMENT
In AD 1 The Church of Jesus Christ, The Body of Christ, had no buildings, little money and no wealth. The Church was a Movement.
Jesus said to make disciples; collect no money except to make your journey.
However, the penalty for becoming a Christian was often death.
Still, the Church grew exponentially.
THE CHURCH BECAME A PHILOSOPHY
AD 49 The Church expanded into Greece. The Church became a philosophy to many. The Church grew and size and influence.
THE CHURCH BECAME AN INSTITUTION
AD 313 The Church expanded into Rome and it gained recognition. It grew in power and popularity. It obtained wealth, buildings, property and influence. It became an institution.
THE CHURCH BECAME A CULTURE
AD 380 The Church expanded into Europe. It was becoming a worldwide phenomenon. It grew in wealth, stature, power and influence. It had become a culture.
THE CHURCH BECAME A BUSINESS
AD 1607 The Church reaches America.
AD 1681 The Church became corporate. It had became a business and incorporated. It became regulated by the government.
The Corporate Church grew. It needed money to support growth and expansion, which meant the Corporate Church needed more people.
AD 1777 The state of Virginia granted tax exemption to houses of worship.
AD 1894 The corporate church was granted tax exemptions by the Federal Government.
AD 1954 The Federal Government regulated what a church could and could not say in order to retain tax exempt status.
The church continued to grow, and in order to attract more people the Corporate Church lowered its membership and doctrinal standards. More people became ‘members’ and gave more money to support more growth.
The Church corporation is complete with leaders, boards and membership and a business model.
Local churches compete against one another for members (customers). The church is selling itself in “three line slogans”.
The Church members now have choices and have become religious consumers. Church people can shop around for the religious brand and standards that best suits them. (2 Timothy 3)
The Leadership (pastors and preachers) have become CEOs, disciples have become church leaders, growing their 501(c)(3) business models.
Record numbers of pastors quitting because of stress, burnout or are being fired by their congregations (some stats say 1500 – 1700 leave “the ministry” each month).
Church debt in America soars; church foreclosures soar.
AD 1968 The church ordains homosexuals as clergy.
AD 1972 The United church of christ ordains homosexual clergy
AD 2010 The Lutheran church ordains homosexual clergy
AD 2012 The Presbyterian church ordains homosexual clergy
Internationally, churches that have ordained openly lesbian or gay clergy include the Church of Scotland, the Church of England, the Church in Wales, the Church of Sweden, the Church of Norway, the Church of Denmark, the Church of Iceland, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, the Evangelical Church in Germany, the Methodist Church in Britain, the Protestant Church in the Netherlands, the United Protestant Church in Belgium, the Swiss Reformed Church, the United Protestant Church of France, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, Anglican Church in Canada, the Old Catholic Church, the Czechoslovak Hussite Church and the United Church of Christ in Japan.
AD 2020 The church is losing and has lost influence. The church in 2020 is losing members.
AD 2020 The church is teaching and living a different Gospel than that of the Apostles.
We, The Church, The Body of Christ, You and I, must return to Jesus’ Way. We must be doing those Works that Jesus does and the way He does them.
Your Brother and Co-Laborer