Posted by: davidlarkin | February 8, 2018

Did Jesus Have a Home?

The engraving above of Jesus healing the paralytic below is by Jan Luyken (1649 – 1712), a Dutch poet, illustrator and engraver.

Self-Consciously Observing Conscious Discursive Thought.

Today, reading the Gospel of Mark, Chapter 2, it begins with:

“And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home.”

Apparently Jesus was living at “home” in Capernaum at the commencement of his ministry. He had a home. The ESV Note for Verse 1 confirms that reading. Reading that this morning, I then consciously remembered that Jesus also said:

And 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, Luke 9:58 (ESV)

Then, I remembered that I read a prayer every morning for the homeless that begins:

“God of compassion, You love the poor and the homeless so much that you came to earth as a poor child and lived as a homeless man.”

See my previous blog post, “Consider the Poor and the Needy”

As I read about Jesus home and remembered these seemingly contradictory Scripture verse and prayer, without conscious effort, I observed my mind automatically attempting to reconcile them while I read on in Mark, Chapter 2.

I noticed that as I read further in Mark 2 that some men “removed the roof above” Jesus in his home and lowered a paralytic through the roof. Mark 2:1-12 (ESV)

And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them. And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”

And as I read that, I noticed my mind thinking discursively, ‘well, maybe he had to leave that home because the roof had a hole in it.’ I almost laughed as I thought that, and that is when I realized I had been self-consciously observing the automatic reconciliation process of my mind, even stretching to reconcile as it did here. I expect that my mind is always trying to reconcile observations of the world which appear to my mind to be contradictory. I know I do that, but this is the first time in 69 years, that I remember, where I self-consciously observed, almost as a third party, the automatic operation of my mind in the background as I read the Scripture.

I still do not know whether after leaving Capernaum on his itinerant ministry throughout Israel, whether Jesus had a home. He must have stayed at the homes of his Apostles from time to time. I will have to study that. I remember he healed Peter’s mother’s fever, and she got up and started making meal.

Note:  Later the day I posted this, I looked at three Commentaries on the Gospel of Mark: William Barclay’s, the New International commentary and the Tyndale commentary. One suggested it could have been his mother, Mary’s, home or a relatives. The translation in ESV is “home,” but other translations say “house.” Another commentary suggested the house was likely the home of Peter or Andrew. The third commentary did not discuss the house or home. So, whose house it was is unclear. However, surely, as a carpenter, Jesus, along with his brothers would have provided a house for their mother and sisters to live in. My best guess is the house was his family home where his mother, brothers and sisters lived, as implied here:

Then he went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.”

Mark 3:20-21 (ESV)

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