“And everyone went to his own house. But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.” - John 7:53-8:1 It was the end of a controversial day. On the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus stood up and invited all who believed to partake in “living water.” That elevated His reputation as a troublemaker among the religious leaders.
At the end of such an exhausting day, everyone went home to sleep in their beds—and Jesus went to the hills.
Once Jesus left the comfort of His home with Joseph and Mary, He became a homeless person. He traveled the countryside, preaching, teaching, ministering, and He often found His way back to the Mount of Olives, where I believe He spent many a night, huddled under an olive tree, often in the cold.
When an enthusiastic scribe told Jesus he would follow Him anywhere, 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” (Matthew 8:20).
Just as Jesus told the rich young ruler to sell all that he had and distribute it to the poor, Jesus is reminding this man that,
“If you want to follow Me, you will have to give up the comforts and security of this world.”
When I think about Jesus, the Savior of the world, curled up under an olive tree, sleeping alone, I realize that He gave up security and comfort as an example to us.
We too can let go of what this world has to offer, keep a light touch on it all, and allow the Kingdom of God to take precedence. That’s a tough assignment in a culture driven by material need and greed. But He taught us to pay attention to the poor, the hungry, the needy, because He understood their plight.
“I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me,” He said. He also said, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me.”
Jesus spent His last night on the Mount of Olives praying for the strength to finish what His Father had sent Him to do.
His disciples fell asleep, leaving Him alone again. Once again, He identified with those who struggle, as He wrestled with what was to come. He could have commanded an army to save Him.
He could have said, “Enough!” and gone to find a nice home and live a “normal” life. But He didn’t. He stayed, and He prayed to His Father, “Your will be done.”
“It is impossible for a man who is warm to understand one who is cold.” —Alexander Solzhenitzyn
[Photo: Chad Graham, CreationSwap]