Self Denial is the Norm

Matthew 8:20, “Foxes have holes, the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”

This statement flows out of the mouth of Christ after being told by a scribe that he’d follow Jesus anywhere in this life.  What does Jesus’ response to this scribe teach us?

Two things:

a) Jesus really wanted things and had to deny His self for godly and bigger things at hand taking place.  Jesus in His humanity really wanted and did yearn for a “hole” or place to lay His head but never had one due to the nature of His calling.  This was hard for Him, you can see that in this verse clear as day.  He really had to deny some of His desires during His life because of His calling.  He was an alien, a pilgrim, a sojourner (the first of many) and had to learn to be alright with not having a home while on earth.  He left His home in the heavens to come here and save us so we could be freed to live and love the glory of God.  This was more important than anything and He knew it.  Thus, desires for comfort, rest, home, found in Matthew 8:20 had to be denied.

b) If the Son of Man had to deny Himself here on earth during His pilgrimage, should it surprise us if we must do the same during our own?  Jesus was the first of many aliens, pilgrims, and sojourners because we follow in His steps.  We too have no lasting inheritance or home here, we are merely passing through, our citizenship is in the heavens with Him.  Some have said it like this, “As goes the Head, so goes the Body,” meaning that Jesus experienced, felt, and exemplified self denial in the greatest way out of anyone to not only teach us that self denial will be normal for those who follow Him but that denying our whole selves is the cost of following Him.

This is what the scribe needed to know and this is what we need to know.  Self denial is not for “super Christians” or “professional Christians”, it is the norm for all of those who call on and embrace the name of Christ.

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