Jesus a homeless bum?

Here are two articles about homelessness. One is about what homeless folks really need, and the other is about Jesus being homeless. These articles really hit close to home for me because I have had the great opportunity to work with several homeless ministries over the last few years.

The first article makes the point that ultimately homeless people, like all people, need others to acknowledge them and let them know they are loved. One of the my favorite homeless ministries that I have ever been a part of was just a group of college students who saw a need and decided to meet it. We went to downtown Little Rock every Friday night with bags full of cheeseburgers, which has since become bags full of healthier foods, and found people on the streets. We offered them a cheeseburger, and when we had it, we offered socks, water, etc. But that wasn’t the really great part.

The best part was that we got to sit down with them under bridges and beside train tracks and in alleys, and talk and play dominoes and hug and pray. We visited some homeless shelters too and sang hymns and praise choruses , handed out bibles to those who wanted them, and once again just sat and talked for hours. What was so incredible to me about his ministry is that it wasn’t some well organized church or non-profit organization, it was just a group of college students who truly believed there was no better way to spend a Friday night. Since I have moved to Nashville this ministry has grown by leaps and bounds, they go on Friday and Saturday now, they visit several more locations, they post prayer requests on Facebook, and sometimes some of them even spend the night on the streets with those who have become their friends. Praise God!

This is only one of the ministries I have had the opportunity to be a part of, the others have also been a real blessing because they were first and foremost about sharing the love of Christ by meeting people where they are and looking to meet more than just an immediate physical need.

The second article is about Jesus being homeless. The main thing that I took away from it was the way we church folk often ignore the humanity of Jesus. We talk about Him as if He floated around on a golden cloud all the time. While in fact He walked among the lepers, sat by a well and talked with a “half-breed” whore, ate at the same table with the most despicable people in society, and called people like me to follow Him.

So what do you think? Was Jesus a homeless bum? Do we too often dress the ministry of Jesus up with church language? How can we follow Christ by loving the “unlovable”?

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13 Comments on “Jesus a homeless bum?”


  1. We had a not so well dressed (smelly) person attend one of the church services where I attend lately, and I don’t think too many people thought well of him. That saddened me and I wondered about our really being Christians. Loving the unloveable – not easy to do, but sure necessary. Lots of folks need to know that Christ loves them just the way they are. Thanks for your insight.

  2. rogueminister Says:

    Yeah I have had that experience as well. Actually, one of the churches I worked for had a homeless ministry and one Wednesday night they had a bunch of visitors from some other congregations who werent used to the atmosphere at this church. Anyway a homeless lady, who was quite drunk, got up and started yelling at the preacher. All of the visitors were just shocked and you could tell they felt really awkward and didnt know what to do. The members at the congregation handled it well though, a couple folks escorted her out to the lobby to talk and pray with her. Then the preacher led a prayer and said something like, “God I dont care if I get interupted every sermon I ever preach, we want people like Miss “Linda” here.” It was beautiful, honestly I cried.

    But unfortunately we often dont know how to minister to people who appear that different from us. Todd Agnew has a song that says “My Jesus would never be accepted in my church because the blood and the dirt on his feet might stain the carpet.” But I think if we make ourselves get to know folks like that then we become accustomed to it and we learn how to love them just as we learn how to be like Christ in all areas of our lives.

  3. jimmymccarty Says:

    Check out the book “Under the Overpass” by Mike Yankoski. He is a college student who took a semester off and traveled the US as a homeless man. His insights into the Christianity of this nation is at times convicting, and others encouraging.

    Oh, and Jesus was SO homeless.

  4. rogueminister Says:

    Jimmy, that book is fabulous. Someone gave it to me as a gift a while back and I read it in a couple days becuase I couldnt put it down. Before I got married I considered doing something similar, but my wife isnt as keen on the idea.

  5. jessie Says:

    you’d make an excellent homeless man, big brother, for what it’s worth.

    i’ll have to get my hands on that book. and is the friday night ministry still happening? you’ve gone, and now zach has graduated, i think. any idea who to contact about it now?

  6. rogueminister Says:

    Thanks Jessie. As far as I know it is still goin on, you can look it up on facebook. I think it is under Harding Homeless ministry. There is a girl, I think her name is Elizabeth, who is kinda in charge now.


  7. […] lay His head”?  I read this in context as Him describing the cost of discipleship.  Others have used this to suggest that Jesus, though the Son of God, was in human form a wandering […]


  8. […] to lay His head”?  I read this in context as Him describing the cost of discipleship.  Others have used this to suggest that Jesus, though the Son of God, was in human form a wandering […]

  9. Charlie Says:

    Did you happen to meet this gentleman while in Little Rock?

    http://dearburt.blogspot.com/2007/01/legend-of-dirt.html

  10. rogueminister Says:

    Charlie, no I havent met him and I am sorry I just now responded. I am in China, and have just now found a way to access my blog’s admin page, as it has been blocked.

  11. Guy Says:

    Justin,
    I’m interested in the group who goes and feeds homeless folks on Friday and Saturday nights in Little Rock. Are they still doing it and can you give me contact information about them?

    Grace,
    Guy

  12. bernard clark Says:

    yes, now i am homeless living in a men’s shelter and i used to make fun of homeless people. Also, there are reasons why i in the situation i am in, this i acknowledge. I am at a low point in my life, if can just learn to be commithed to Jesus Christ, wholeheartly, Maybe, before i die, a change has occurred in my life to help others in the homeless ministry. I am learning some much because i grew up poor,a drugs addict, alcoholic, my mother heroic addict and bi-sexual, Pips, players, gansters, hoes,etc,and the list goes on. Yes, i can really related to being able to be a soul survival out here from the ghetto life of society,


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