Jesus just finished with a healing service that probably lasted all night. Picture it… people from all over the country that have traveled MILES just to see, and hear Jesus. People brought Him sick and diseased people. Imagine listening to Jesus teach and everyone around you is probably coughing or has open sores. Kinda gross huh? Now finish the thought with Jesus healing everyone. Do you think that He would have some people that would want to follow him wherever? OF COURSE!!! In fact, Jesus had so many people around him that he could barely move. So he gets into a boat just to distance Himself a little.
Today’s reading; Matthew 8:18-22
As He was getting into the boat a scribe, yes the same scribe(s) that Jesus was rebuking earlier, came and made a statement. He said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you will go.” First, he called Jesus a TEACHER. By doing this he acknowledged that Jesus has authority and coming from a known scribe (they were known for being very knowledgeable in Scripture) was extraordinary.
I love Jesus’ reply: “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.” WHAT?!?!? You mean that Jesus was refusing to have him follow? Not at all!! Jesus was merely trying to put things into perspective for him. He was telling the scribe that following Him was not going to be easy. Although while food and clothing are physical necessities for human survival, an established home is not. However, part of human emotional make-up is a strong drive for the security of a home. Jesus’ demand for his followers was not impossible, but it was lofty enough that only the most committed would accept it. We are not told whether the scribe followed Jesus or not.
Next we see that another person that was ALREADY following Jesus said that he must go and bury his father. Jewish tradition was that the eldest son was responsible for the care and burial for the parents. This came from the commandment to “Honor thy mother and father.” It was not known whether his father was dead already or not. It took one year from the time of death to fully bury a corpse. This was so that the bones, that were in the care of the eldest, could be placed in an estuary.
Jesus’ reaction? “FOLLOW ME, and Let the dead bury their own dead.” Jesus saw this tradition and the way the disciple used it as an excuse. There is no excuse.
Bottom line and thought for today;
Although it is no easy task to follow Jesus there is no excuse not to. What are some hindrances to FULLY follow Him?