The Son of Man Hath Not Where to Lay His Head?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

“And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head” (Luke 9:58 KJV).

What did the Lord mean in today’s Scripture?

Joseph, Mary, and Jesus were poor (Luke 2:24 cf. Leviticus 12:8), but their poverty is not the issue in today’s Scripture. The context suggests that our Lord is actually exposing Israel’s unbelief.

Today’s Scripture is Jesus’ response to a previous statement, so read that preceding verse: “And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest” (verse 57). According to Matthew 8:19,20, the companion passage, this man is a scribe, a religious leader in Israel.

This scribe makes a promise to Christ, to follow Him wherever He will go. Yet, notice Christ’s reply: “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” The foxes and birds have places of residence, but not Jesus Christ. Where can He go? His nation—His own “flesh and blood”—unapologetically rejects Him. “He came unto his own, and his own received him not” (John 1:11).

Over 30 years prior to the events of today’s Scripture, a baby (Jesus) was born to a virgin in Israel. He was Israel’s Messiah-King, but sinful Israel did not want Him. Instead, she let wicked King Herod murder His (toddler) contemporaries, forcing Joseph and Mary to take the young child Jesus and flee to Egypt (Matthew 2:13-18). When they later returned to Israel, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph dwelt in Nazareth, the “despised place” (verses 19-23). “Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:46).

With His nation callously rejecting Him, the only place Jesus Christ could go was Calvary’s cruel cross, to be sacrificed for their sins! Even after His resurrection, they refused to have Him. He ascended to heaven as a royal exile, but He shall return, and then He shall have a place to lay His head!