Controversial Jesus sculpture shows him as a homeless person outside of a mega church
Homeless Jesus statue (screenshot from BBC video)

Artist Timothy Schmalz created a homeless Jesus sculpture that is on display outside of St Ann's church in Manchester, according to Christian Today.

The sculpture was unveiled by a homeless man named Dave on Monday. The purpose of the sculpture is to shine a light on how Jesus walked with the homeless.

"Jesus is very explicit in the Bible; when we offer or refuse care to those in need, we will be judged as though he himself were the needy person before us," Rt Rev Dr David Walker, who chairs the Manchester Homelessness Partnership, said. "This sculpture casts Christ's words into metal. It links them directly to one of the most visible expressions of human need. Its identical twins can be found in other great cities around the world; a reminder that Manchester today is a truly global city."

St Ann's rector, Rev Nigel Ashworth said the issue of homelessness is more complex than simply not having a place to live. Ashworth said: "For many people homelessness is not simply about having no place to call home, but about living with some kind of emotional trauma. By giving the homeless Jesus space outside our church we are showing that we stand in solidarity with the poor and vulnerable, in the same way that Jesus had compassion on them in His earthly ministry."

The reaction to the homeless Jesus sculpture is mixed. Some people praised the church for creating such a strong statement about God's loves, while others thought the artwork missed the mark.