THE WORDS OF JESUS
Creative, Causative, Prophetic, Instructional – Part 35
“Foxes have holes”
“And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” “Another of the disciples said to him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.”
The Words of Jesus, Matthew 8:20-22.
This is one of the more misunderstood and mysterious of Jesus’ instructions. It seems out of place and a bit callous at first glance, and unless you gain its wisdom, you might well be left behind.
In its fuller context, begin reading in verse eighteen,
“Now when Jesus saw a crowd around Him, He gave orders to depart to the other side of the sea. Then a scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.” 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.” Another of the disciples said to Him, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” 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 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, AND IS, A MOVEMENT
In A.D. 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.
Although the penalty for becoming a Christian was often death, the early Church grew exponentially.
Then, men became disobedient and proudly began to ‘cast their own vision’ for Jesus’ Church and
THE CHURCH BECAME A PHILOSOPHY
Then, by A.D. 49, The Church expanded into Greece. The Church became a philosophy to many. The Church grew and size and influence, and
THE CHURCH BECAME AN INSTITUTION
By A.D. 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 and
THE CHURCH BECAME A CULTURE
In A,D, 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, and
THE CHURCH BECAME A BUSINESS
A.D. 1607, the Church reaches America, and
By A.D. 1681, the Church became corporate. It had become 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.
By A.D. 1777, with the best of intentions, the state of Virginia granted tax exemption to houses of worship, thereby slipping a governmental tax-noose around the neck of the church.
Then, by A.D. 1894, the corporate church was granted tax exemptions by the Federal Government and by
A.D. 1954, the Federal Government regulated what a church could and could not say in order to retain tax-exempt status.
The church worked to grow numerically, 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 Incorporated” was complete with leaders, boards and membership and a business model.
Local churches began to 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. (see 2 Timothy 3).
The Leadership (pastors and preachers) have become CEOs, disciples have become church leaders, growing their 501(c)(3) business models. The great apostasy is under way.
Church scandals fill media headlines. Record numbers of pastors quitting because of stress, burnout or are being fired by their congregations for misdeeds moral failures or low achievement. (some stats say 1500 – 1700 leave “the ministry” each month).
Church debt in America soars; church foreclosures soar.
A.D. 1968, The church ordains homosexuals as clergy.
A.D. 1972, The United church of Christ ordains homosexual clergy
A.D. 2010, The Lutheran church ordains homosexual clergy
A.D. 2012, The Presbyterian church ordains homosexual clergy
The Episcopal Church in the United States and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) have also allowed ordination of openly gay and lesbian candidates for ministry for some years.
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.
THE AGE OF APOSTASY IS WELL UNDER WAY
We, The Remnant Church, The Body of Christ, You and I, must return to Jesus. The time of His return is very near. We must found be doing what He has said, doing the Works of Jesus.
Your Brother and Co-Laborer,
NEXT: THE WORDS OF JESUS – What Are You To Do With Them?, “Oh, you of little faith”, Part 37
PREVIOUS: THE WORDS OF JESUS – What Are You To Do With Them?, “I will come and heal him”, Part 35