“After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone” (Matthew 14:23).

Jesus was no stranger who did not know His way around in the world. The world was His home because it was His Father’s house. Think for a moment how Jesus was at home among the things of His Father. What was His place of prayer? Not the temple, but the mountainside. Where does He find symbols whereby to speak of what goes on in the mind and before the face of the Father in heaven? Not in the temple. Not in its rites, its altars, its Holy of Holies. Rather, He finds them in the world and its lovely, lowly facts—on the roadside, in the field, in the vineyard, in the garden, in the house, in the family, and in the commonest of affairs: the lighting of the lamp, the leavening of the meal, the neighbor’s borrowing, the losing of a coin, the straying of a sheep. All His life Jesus was among His Father’s things, either in heaven or in the world. He claimed none of them as His own. All His having was in the Father.

To be lord of space, a man must be free of all attachments to place. To be heir of all things, his heart must have no things in it. He must be like Him who makes things, not like one who would put everything in his pocket. He must be as the man who makes poems, not the man who gathers books of verse. I wonder whether Jesus ever put anything in His pocket? I doubt He even had one. Did He ever say, “This is Mine, not yours?” Did He not say, “All things are Mine, therefore they are yours?” Oh, for His liberty among the things of the Father! Only by knowing them as the things of the Father can we escape enslaving ourselves to them.

Adapted from In His Presence