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NO PLACE TO LAY HIS HEAD
In Matt. 8:19-20 we read these words: "A certain scribe came, and said to him, ‘Master, I will follow you wherever you go.’ Jesus says to him, ‘The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has no where to lay his head." How ridiculous to think that the very incarnate Lord of Glory was talking only about not having a place to live or sleep while walking this earth. This was certainly true. He had no place He could call His own, but we must constantly keep in mind that "The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophesy." (Rev. 19:10). Therefore every word which He spoke can be distilled into prophetic patterns to show truths for future ages and generations. Think not that Jesus wasted His time just talking about the physical conditions in which He found Himself. He was using these incidents and circumstances to portray something far more vast and important than that which first meets the eye. Let us look and BEHOLD the footprints of the majestic Son of God.
In Matt. 8:16 we notice that it says when evening was come "They brought to him many that were possessed with devils; and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick." WHY does it mention that this occurred in the evening? Just to fill in space? Is it not to show that Jesus was picturing things that would happen at the close (evening) of this age when His Body would be ministering in power and doing the works that He did? In verse 18, we read that Jesus gave commandment to the disciples to "depart to the other side." Even so is the Body of Christ to depart to the other side (heaven) after finishing the work that has been given to it for this end time. It is in THIS SETTING that we have the words of the scripture with which we begin. It was a certain scribe who said to Jesus, "I will follow you wherever you go." The scribes were the scholars and teachers of that day, comparable to the theologians and ministers of our day. Thus we see portrayed in this end time those who are asking what is required to follow the Lord all the way. In Jesus' criptic answer is couched the enigma that He saw would prevail in this end time. WHAT did He see? "The foxes have holes," said He. In Ezekiel 13:4 we read: "O Israel, your prophets are like the foxes in the deserts." Also in Luke 13:32 Jesus refers to Herod as "that fox." Thus we see that Jesus was referring to certain kinds of humans when He used the term "fox." If you will read Ezekiel 13 you will see that the Lord was rebuking the prophets of Israel because they were speaking out of their own hearts and following their own foolish spirits. Of them He says, "You have not gone up into the gaps (breaches), neither made up the hedge (wall) for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord." (Ezek. 13:5). Thus he is describing a type of religious leader or preacher that is interested only in his own ways and seeking to promote that which serves his own interests. "The foxes have holes (lairs)," said He. The LAIRS are the modern denominational systems which have become the holds and strongholds of those who, like foxes, have made a place for themselves to "lie down" in to promote their own welfare and security. And with them they hold captive the people of God to the traditions and customs of their particular approach to God. These, in turn, are not willing to follow the Lord to the point where their primary concern is not where THEY are going to find a "lair for security," but rather in finding a place for the LORD to lay His head. The above is not meant to be an indictment against the many sincere and conscientious ministers who are doing the best they know how with the understanding they have. But it is an apt description of the religious systems and the many who know what the score is, but who refuse to "forsake all" to follow Him.
Jesus could have used some other term of expression to denote His lack of an abiding place on the earth. But again, every word was designed to portray truth. He does not in these days have a place to LAY HIS HEAD. The Bible teaches that the church is the BODY of Christ, and that He is the HEAD of the Body (Ephes. 1:22-23,4:15). "Laying down His head" denotes a place (or people) where His HEADship is the primary concern. In other words the Lord portrays that time when many scribes, teachers, etc. would come with feigned words about following Him all the way, and yet refuse to recognize HIS HEADSHIP OVER HIS CHURCH. The Lord has no people in this day who are willing to let Him "lay His Head" down to where He is in complete charge of everything that is done in His Body, and where everything is directed by Him through the Holy Spirit. But NOW has the day dawned for this people to come into being. The beginning stages are evident in many places.
Jesus also said "the birds of the air have nests." He was picturing those conditions which would prevail in the end time when the religious systems would become like that described in Rev. 18:2, "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is becoming the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird." Thus every kind of religious "bird" can find a roost somewhere in the religious systems of today, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head; for His Headship is not welcomed or sought for by the religious leaders of today.
Immediately following the words we have just been dealing with, we find in Matt. 8:21 that another disciple said to Jesus, "Lord, allow me first to go and bury my father. But Jesus said to him. Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead." The Berkeley version renders this passage, "Leave the dead to bury their own dead." Again Jesus was using a contemporary situation to portray a prophetic truth. When the disciple said that he wanted to go and bury his father, he did not mean that his father had already died. This was merely a way of saying, let me stay with my father and take care of him until he dies, and then I will follow you. Jesus said in effect, "Let the spiritually dead take care of their own, you follow me NOW." Letting His words be the spirit of prophecy for our day we can see that there are those who say they want to follow the Lord, but first they want to remain with the spiritually dying denominations which have fathered them until they feel their usefulness there has been completed. But Jesus is saying, let the spiritually dead take care of the spiritually dying denominations, YOU FOLLOW ME. He wants us to leave that which is dying and forsake all to follow Him.
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