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He Pitched His Tent Among Us

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When narcotic's squad detectives recently raided a loft apartment in a depressed area of New York City, they came on a scene straight out of "The Beggar's Opera." Every square foot of the long, dingy apartment was crowded with human derelicts who were sleeping on the floor, or sitting huddled in corners; dimly visible overhead were a number of gay paper ceiling ornaments, left over from the days when the loft had been a dance hall. After searching the crowd, the detectives arrested six men who were carrying hypodermic needles and packets of heroin; they also arrested the derelicts' host, a mild, weedy-looking man who was charged with harboring drug addicts in his apartment.

At police headquarters, the weedy-looking man claimed he was actually well-to-do, but that he had chosen to live among the homeless in order to provide them with food, shelter, and clothing. His door, he said, was open to all, including a small minority of narcotic addicts, since he had not known it was against the law to feed and clothe people with the drug habit. Checking his story, the police found that the man was neither a vagrant nor a drug addict. He was John Sargent Cram, a millionaire who had been educated at Princeton and Oxford, and whose family had long been known for its philanthropies.1

So it is with God in Christ. He too, though rich beyond measure, left His penthouse dwelling and made His home among the homeless, destitute, and morally shunned of this world. He left His palace of gold to walk streets of mud...and he did it to rescue us (Gal 1:4). He left a drug-free zone to live with pill pushers and drug dealers, determined to feed, clothe, and redeem them. As John said, Jesus pitched his tent among us and we have beheld his glory, the glory of the One and Only, Son of God (John 1:14).

Have you ever given serious meditation and prayer to the thought of the incarnation, that is, to the fact that God somehow clothed Himself with human frailty in order to live among those with unclean hands and tainted hearts? It's as mysterious as it is wonderful that God Himself should visit His planet and pitch His tent among us-among the Pharisees, tax-collectors, prostitutes, and the poor and needy. Like a breathtaking sunset, clothed in rich purple, orange, and blue, the thought of the incarnation is marvelous, utterly mysterious, and majestic. That my God should leave the richest fair to eat with those on the street is utterly wonderful and incomprehensible.

Toady, as you go about your business, think deeply about Jesus Christ, especially about the cost he paid to dwell with us as the God-man. Ask yourself some questions: (1) Would you have made the sacrifice? (2) What are some implications that flow from the truth that the eternal Son of God has forever clothed Himself with humanity? Have you considered that? The second person of the trinity will forever walk with us as the incarnate Son of God. At no point in the eternal state will he give up His glorified body. (3) What does the incarnation say about God's desire to fellowship with us? (4) How was Jesus' first coming both a revelation of who God is, but also a veiling at the same time? (5) What does the incarnation say about God's view of creation? (6) How does one reverently worship God in light of our knowledge of the incarnation?


1 Charles R. Swindoll, ed. The Tale of the Tardy Oxcart and 1,501 Other Stories (Nashville: Word, 1998), 111.

Related Topics: Devotionals