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Homeless Jesus Sculpture To Make People Feel Uneasy

homeles jesus statue

Canadian artist Tim Schmalz has created a sculpture of a homeless Jesus, with the aim of provoking reflection on the plight of the homeless.

The homeless Jesus statue was unveiled at Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, Ireland. It’s the first of its kind outside of North America.

The Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin Dr.Michael Jackson and Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin, blessed the unveiling in the grounds of the Cathedral.
Dublin has been chastened by its presence, according to Archbishop Dr.Michael Jackson.

The Irish Times reports:

The work by Canadian sculptor Tim Schmalz is a 7ft cast bronze park bench, depicting Christ hidden beneath blankets – his identity betrayed only by the holes in his feet.

Designed to prompt public reflection on the plight of the homeless, it has been presented by an anonymous North American Episcopalian benefactor.

A competition for the most appropriate location for Homeless Jesus was launched by The Irish Times last December when readers were asked to nominate preferences. They voted for it to be placed on Molesworth Street or on the plinth at Leinster House, near where a homeless man, Jonathan Corrie, died last year.

However, Mr Schmalz , a devout Catholic, visited locations on a trip to Dublin in January and decided on Christ Church Cathedral as “it is the spiritual heart of Dublin”.

Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin Dr Michael Jackson said the statue was testimony to those who maintained a capacity for life “in the midst of danger, distress, degradation and deprivation”.

Chastened

Speaking at the unveiling, he said Dublin was chastened by its presence. “The scandalous fact is that the relentlessness of homelessness and the statistics of individual homeless people in Dublin in 2015 still merit such a sculpture as a reminder and a memorial.”

Homeless jesus

Archbishop of Dublin Michael Jackson (second from right) with Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin.

The ceremony was also presided over by Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin, who invoked the memory of Jonathan Corrie.
“As long as there are people who cannot find a suitable roof over their head and families without a place where they can live with dignity, then none of us can roll over in our comfortable beds with an easy conscience,” he said.

The Homeless Jesus sculptures are appearing in cities across North America, but Mr Schmalz said there were still 10 fully funded pieces seeking homes in other countries.
“Even walking up here [to Christ Church] I encountered three different homeless people and I was thinking, why didn’t I give the last person money,” he said.
“That is what the sculpture is supposed to make you think about. It’s supposed to make you feel uneasy.”

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  • Rexx Vernon Shelton

    Jesus was not homeless, he left his home for His Mission for God. When he sent His disciples out to spread the Word He gave these instructions: “And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat. And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. And when ye come into an house, salute it. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city/” They were not homeless either, but on a mission for God. There are no scriptures telling of Jesus having to camp out, he always had a bed to sleep in. He was never in need of substance as he could feed a multitude with a few fish and loves of bread. Jesus was never along except for the 40 days he was in the desert fasting, and He was not fasting because He was homeless. This is a mischaracterization of Jesus, and anyone who reads the New Testament knows it.

    • Lori Alayne Weber Miller

      Open your bible buddy Jesus said in red letter and in at least two gospels. Matthew 8:20Amplified Bible (AMP)

      20 And Jesus replied to him, Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have lodging places, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head

      Luke 9:58Amplified Bible (AMP)

      58 And Jesus told him, Foxes have lurking holes and the birds of the air have roosts and nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.

      • Rexx Vernon Shelton

        Read the answer I gave above about Luke 9: 54 to Lori Alayne Weber Miller.

    • Melissa MacKinnon

      Leave it to Rex to come in acting like a know it all. The statue isn’t supposed to say that Jesus was homeless. It’s meant to remind people the way Jesus lived, loving ALL people. Those who are homeless included. It’s called Art. It’s supposed to be thought provoking. I guess either way it worked. But turning it in to a debate about if Jesus was homeless or not rather than seeing the real message here is kind I douchey.

      Seeing as how Jesus travelled preaching the word of God, it could be debated that he was homeless. No matter what the book says, but again. I think the statues are a beautiful reminder that being homeless is not limited to any one group or person. No matter if you’re religious or not.

      In the future, try not to take the book so literally that you miss the message. Just some advice from a stranger.

      • Rexx Vernon Shelton

        From the article: “A competition for the most appropriate location for Homeless Jesus was launched by The Irish Times last December when readers were asked to nominate preferences. They voted for it to be placed on Molesworth Street or on the plinth at Leinster House, near where a homeless man, Jonathan Corrie, died last year.”

        How is this not saying what you say it is not saying, “The statue isn’t supposed to say that Jesus was homeless…”? Yes, is air, and as far as art goes good art, but it is a bad sermon, which is what it is intended to be, not art. It is preaching by making Jesus out to be what He never was. I do not care if you like it or not, that is your prerogative, just as it is mine to point out that it is not scriptural. Nor do the few verses pointed to make Jesus into a homeless man as we understand what homeless means to be today.

        • Melissa MacKinnon

          What if Jesus WAS homeless? Would that make him any less? See, my initial thought was that you vehemently opposed Jesus being depicted as homeless because in your mind, people who are homeless are somehow “less than” or “not worthy”. But I must be wrong, surely I am because otherwise that wouldn’t be very “Christian”. Would it?

          Admit the real reason why you put so much energy in to proving that Jesus wasn’t homeless.

          Oh, and PLEASE educate me oh wise one of what “It means to be homeless today”.

          • Rexx Vernon Shelton

            No, if Jesus was homeless of would not make Him less, but He was not. If you are going to preach something that is not scriptural I object. I have in the past, and will in the future in need arises, interrupted preachers in church to ask where the bible supports what they are saying.

            To be homeless today for mist who find themselves in that condition it simply means to not have your own home and includes people living on their friend’s couches or in their cars. It could be the guy or gal waiting your table. For some they are the people who choose to live on the street, as I did for three years, and panhandler, beg, for a living. And for some it is a results of the laws being changed ti prevent the mentally challenged from being committed unless they are a danger to themselves or others. Jesus did not fit into any of these types of homeless. If you understand it differently pleas enlighten me.

            In the story of the Good Samaritan Jesus said that the good neighbor was one who helped those whom he may come in contact with that needed help. Jesus did not tell us to go looking for people to help. If He did perhaps you can provide me with chapter and verse?

          • Melissa MacKinnon

            So please. Explain to me how this statue is “Scripture”. Nobody ever claimed that it was.

            As for “being Christian”, from what I’m getting here of you personally is that you are more concerned with proving people wrong based on what the book technically says. In order to feel superior to others, in your own mind. Rather than what it was meant to be for in the first place.

            You’re a very misguided human being who could use a bit off humility. And if you need any further proof of this, consider the fact that you seem to be the only person in the world that has a problem with this statue. Which that’s all it is. A statue. Meant to make people think twice and be more aware. NOT scripture.

            Take a step back, my friend. Take a step back.

          • Rexx Vernon Shelton

            This statue is being used a sermon, e.g., “Designed to prompt public reflection on the plight of the homeless, it has been presented by an anonymous North American Episcopalian benefactor.” by protrau Jesus as He never was,

            “Meant to make people think twice and be more aware. NOT scripture.” You are right this message, of Jesus being a homeless man is not scripture, and project a lie. The goal of making people think twice and be more aware is laudable, but the twisting of Jesus’ time in His last days as a poor helpless, as this statute implies, homeless man that had to sleep on a park bench because the ‘Son of Man’ had no place for His head, (He is laying His head here is He not?) is a cheep trick and has nothing to do with being saved by the Blood of Christ.

            Do you believe that He died for you, and paid for your sins? Is the Blood of Christ real for you, or just something to manipulate other’s opinion about the homeless today.

          • Melissa MacKinnon

            See my above post. Good day.

  • Lori Alayne Weber Miller

    Luke 9:58Amplified Bible (AMP)
    58 And Jesus told him, Foxes have lurking holes and the birds of the air have roosts and nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.

    • Rexx Vernon Shelton

      In this passage, if put in contest, is pointing out the difficulties one had to assume in order to follow him, it was not a claim of homeless.

      In context, Luke 9: 54-60, “And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village. And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.”

      The Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head. What exactly do these words mean? Who can say, ‘I have nowhere to lay my head?’ You can always find somewhere to lay down your head, even if you lie down in a public park. The Lord Jesus could always lie down in some places to rest His head, even if it is in the wilderness. But that is not the point of His statement. He is saying to the scribe, ‘If you want to follow Me, then this world cannot be your home. You have to realize that this world is not your home. You are just passing through this world.

      • Lori Alayne Weber Miller

        Sooo.. if the earth is not his home and he was at that point on earth. he was in effect homeless. I do not see how you can interpret that passage any other way, but nice try.