Christ the Needy
Matthew 8:20 And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
Most of us except for a very few have experienced some sort of want or how to be poor and needy. To experience hunger, thirst, not enough clothing or inadequate shelter, etc., is indeed very hard. I have seen the lives of people who lives in the slum areas in Asia, as well in Africa and my heart goes out to them. Statistics shows us that the poor outnumbers the rich by a very large margin. Christ Himself suffered poverty when He was here. Today we will be talking how poor and needy the King of Kings and Lord of Lords is when He came here to redeem us from all our sins.
1. He had no home in which to be born (Lk. 2:7)
a. For modern families now, babies are born in a hospital.
b. Jesus was born in a stable, a shelter for asses, camels, and oxen, no available room for Him and His mother in the inn.
c. New generation babies when they are born are kept in an air conditioned room, clean, sanitary, well lighted, and guarded by nurses, and examined by paediatricians.
d. Jesus was laid down in a manger, a feeding place for animals made “clean” enough for Mary to use.
e. Modern babies are wrapped in a clean, comfortable blanket.
f. Jesus has to be wrapped in some pieces “swaddling clothes” that happened to be available.
Jesus was not born in a palace with admiring attendants and servants. Mary was not a royal blood or a beauty queen whose daily activities were reported to the world. Amidst many troubles and tribulations, the plan of God was being fulfilled. God gets His will done in an amazing way. Jesus’ first visitors or admirers were shepherds. His birth was announced however, by angels, a sign that He is no ordinary baby. He is the “Son of the Highest” (Lk. 1:33), the “Son of God” (Lk. 1:35), and as the angels told the shepherds, “a Saviour which is Christ the Lord” (Lk. 2:11).
2. No place to lay His head (Matt. 8:20)
a. The context of this passage is about commitment and discipleship.
b. Jesus as the “Son of man,” did not possess what the humbler animals claim, a home.
c. His external condition was worse than the birds, or the beasts on the earth, He has no permanent resident.
d. The cost of commitment to follow Him will be hardship, insecurity, and homelessness.
e. To really follow Jesus, committed disciples will shed blood, sweat, toil, and tears.
At least most of us has a place called home. Whether it was rented or under mortgage we have a dwelling place. When the Lord started His ministry, He was homeless, no property He can call His own, yet He created all things and He owns everything. We complain about how little or how small we have but Jesus when He was here in in worse situation than us. He had no home so that we might have eternal inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, reserved in heaven for you (1 Pet. 1:4)
3. No money to pay the tax (Matt. 17:27)
a. So poor was the Lord He has no cash on hand to pay the tax required
b. The tax that is spoken here is not the Roman tax but the Jewish tax connected with the expenses to be used with the worship in the Temple.
c. Though Christ have the right for exemption of payment, he choose to pay
d. This shows his great poverty as man, that he cannot afford to pay, without working a miracle
Christ became a needy man that He might meet our needs. 2 Corinthians 8:9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. He was poor that we might have “all spiritual blessings in heavenly places”… Eph. 1:3
4. No comforter in Gethsemane agony (Matt. 26:40)
a. In His prayer in Gethsemane, he prayed with such intensity that blood drop from His brow.
b. Jesus was disappointed at His discovery that His disciples were asleep after the earnest plea that they keep awake (Mt. 26:38).
c. In His agony in the garden, there is no one to comfort Him.
As Christ contemplated on his coming painful, fearful, and cruel death, He prayed alone knowing he would be bearing the sins of the whole world. He has no comfort that we might have the Comforter. John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
5. No friend to defend or plead for Him when He was falsely accused (Mark. 14:50).
a. Jesus was accused falsely by the Jewish leaders
b. He was declared guilty though He had done nothing wrong.
c. He was tried a single, silent, blasphemer without position, prestige, supporters or any visible help from God.
Jesus had no friend, that we might have an abiding Friend. (Jn. 15:13-15). We all need a friend whom we can turn to in time of need.
A British publication once offered a prize for the best definition of a friend. Among the thousands of answers received were the following: “One who multiplies joys, divides grief, and whose honesty is inviolable.” “One who understands our silence.” “A volume of sympathy bound in cloth.” “A watch that beats true for all time and never runs down.” The winning definition read: “A friend is the one who comes in when the whole world has gone out.”
6. No grave of His in which to be buried (Matt. 27:60).
a. The new tomb in which he was buried was owned by somebody, Joseph of Arimathaea.
b. In his lifetime he had not where to lay his head; when he was dead, he had no sepulchre of his own to put his body in. What a sad state.
c. He was born for others, and suffered and died not for himself, but for others also;
d. However, death has no hold on Him for He rose again from the dead.
e. He died that we may have eternal life.
Christ was a needy man when He came here. In fact he is more needy than most of us. Yet He did not complain nor opened up His mouth. The homeless Christ here prepared us a heavenly mansion. He became poor so that we can become rich. He died so we may have eternal life. All these Jesus did for you. Would you accept Him as your personal Saviour now? For those who are already Christian, what have you done or what are you doing for Christ now?