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The Homeless Jesus Sculpture

Since 2013, Christian Canadian sculptor Timothy Schmalz has been placing a particular sculpture depicting a homeless man sleeping on a bench in cities across the globe. The life-size bronze statue appears to be anonymous with his face and hands hidden under a blanket, but the gaping wounds on his feet reveal that the person is actually Jesus.

Schmalz named the statue “Matthew 25”, in reference to a quote from that gospel—“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

Surprisingly, the statue has appeared in front of many churches that have shown extraordinary tolerance for the controversial sculpture. When it was installed at St. Alban's Episcopal Church in the middle of an upscale neighborhood in Davidson, North Carolina, one woman called the police. Another wrote a letter of complaint to the editor of a local newspaper. Many felt that it was an insult to the Son of God. Some churches have even refused to have the sculpture installed in front of their institution.

Rev. David Buck of St. Alban's Episcopal Church feels that the sculpture gives authenticity to their church. He says, “This is a relatively affluent church, and we need to be reminded ourselves that our faith expresses itself in active concern for the marginalized of society. We believe that that's the kind of life Jesus had. He was, in essence, a homeless person.”

Possible Preaching Angles: Homelessness; Poverty; Rejection – While on earth, there was no room for Jesus in the inn (Luke 2:7), he had no place to lay his head (Matthew 8:20), he was despised and rejected by men (Isaiah 53:3), and when was crucified his only possession was his clothing (Matthew 27:35). He now calls us to minister to the displaced and poor in his name (Matthew 25:40).

Source: Kaushik, “The Homeless Jesus Sculpture,” Amazing Planet (11-15-18)

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