Darrell Bock: Stranger

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Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.” Luke 9:58

“Jesus describes what disciples can expect when he is their example. His situation is worse than that of beasts: foxes and birds have places to stay, but the Son of Man has no home…

‘Homelessness’ has been Jesus’ fate from his birth. A disciple of Jesus must realize that following Him means living as a stranger in the world, because a choice for Jesus is a choice rejected by many in the world. Many will not follow Jesus and will reject His disciples. To be a disciple takes resolve…

What is true of the suffering Son of Man is true of His disciples. To live ‘rejected’ and ‘homeless’ means to trust God and know that one’s home is with Him. There is a deep note of pathos in Jesus’ remark. The disciple must realize that the choice to follow Jesus is not an easy one.”

Darrell Bock in Luke, Volume 2 (BECNT: Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 1996) 978-79. Hard to believe today marks the end of the first quarter of 2021 already. I still have much reflection to do on the word ‘remember’ over the next nine months.

Today’s focus in the eight-day retreat is following Jesus. When I prayed about this idea, the word ‘place’ came to my remembrance. The Son of Man did not have a ‘place’ to lay His head. And in John 14:6 alerts us to good news, that He is preparing a ‘place’ for us. So, to follow Him is to live like a ‘stranger’ here.

This represents a strong otherworldly invitation. Are we willing to live like a stranger in the world because our place, our home, is not yet ready and trusting Jesus to supply it to us at some point in the future? This is not an insignificant idea, for it causes us to live for a competing set of priorities than most people.

Bock notes that the pathway is choosing rejection and homelessness, believing that in following one has acceptance and a home with God. The challenge for most everyone is that we want a home here too. Where will we live? We look for a place in terms of locality, and I think He wants us to find our place in community.

Following Jesus is finding new family, awaiting a future home, and realizing that this side of heaven we may not even enjoy the comforts that creatures enjoy. Sit in this idea today and ask God how it should shape your generosity. How should resources you steward be sent on to heaven through giving rather than spent here?