JESUS DIDN’T ALWAYS SLEEP IN GRAND HOMES
Without a doubt, Jesus was wealthy, and He had a grand home. But He wasn’t soft. He experienced life, unvarnished.
And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him,
Master, carest thou not that we perish? (Mark 4:38)
I’ve slept on rooftops, in trees, under trees, on beaches, in the snow, in the rain, on porches, in tents, in hammocks, on air mattresses, on pallets (no mattress), on boats, on trains, in planes, in busses, in cars… (I haven’t mastered sleeping on horseback).
Sometimes, I invite others to accompany me on overseas crusades. There’s always a tenderfoot who complains about everything, whose idea of roughing it is no room service. In my experience, Prima Donna Preachers have been the biggest crybabies!
I can handle the marble and gilt of Dorchester Hotel in London or a dirt floor in an adobe hut in Mexico. I’ve slept in both places and more. But, given a choice, I’m not going to pass up a comfortable, king-size bed for a rope hammock. I’m rugged — not stupid!
Jesus was at home in a palace or under the stars. We have at least two records of Jesus sleeping outdoors. I’m sure He did it often. But, He did that by choice, not because He was homeless.
And he left them, and went out of the city into Bethany; and he lodged there. (Matt 21:17)
And in the day time he was teaching in the temple; and at night he went out, and abode in the mount that is called the mount of Olives. (Luke 21:37)
In the first verse, the word lodged means to pass the night in the open air. In the second verse, the same Greek word is translated as abode; but it also means to pass the night in the open air.
I’ve spent time in the Garden of Gethsemane, on the Mount of Olives, at midnight. For me, it’s the best time to experience it, under the stars, above the Old City of Jerusalem, across from the Eastern Gate. There are olive trees in the garden that are dated to the time of Jesus.
I’ve slept under the stars a thousand times. In fact, I lived in the wilderness for several years. I’ve always enjoyed looking up, thinking, Jesus slept under the same stars that I sleep under! Of course, He made them, but He also slept under them.
My favorite place to sleep under the stars was when I lived in Tocapala, high in the Andes of Southern Peru, where the sky is always clear, thin, and dry. When I was a teenager, I often hiked to the top of one of the nearby peaks, alone, bundled myself into my goose-down sleeping bag, zipped it up to my cheeks, and gazed into the infinite stars until I drifted off. It was like floating in outer space.
Here’s a question for you: Do you enjoy camping or sleeping outdoors? Do you want to sleep in the open air full-time, winter and summer — rain or shine?
This blog is one of a series of excerpts of my manuscript called Codex Rex — The Book of the King. Your comments and questions will help me improve the manuscript before publication.