Family Ties…


If haven’t read part 1, then you will probably want to do that before reading this one.

In Matthew 8, another disciple comes to Jesus, supposedly willing to follow Jesus anywhere.  The burning desire of every believing heart should be to follow Jesus anywhere; if you don’t desire to follow Jesus then you need to examine your heart to see if you know him at all. Again though, this disciple reveals that he really isn’t willing to follow Jesus anywhere. This man has his own terms and conditions for following; he will follow, but only after attaching the following string: 

Lord, let me first go and bury my father. 

All the man wants to do is go and visit his ailing father; he just wants to have one more talk by the side of his father’s bed before he leaves this earth. Jesus seems so cold-hearted here, right? He says:

Follow me. Let the dead bury their dead. 

The text gives no indication that the father was remotely near death; he could have been 40 years old and still working the fields. I think that this disciple was really saying: 

Lord, I will follow you, but let me first do life with my family. Let Dad see the grandkids for awhile…let us have Christmas and Thanksgiving…just wait until Jr. graduates from high school, then I will follow you wherever you go Lord. 

Jesus says:

Follow me. Let the dead bury their dead. 

The true believer in Jesus Christ, one who is alive by the regeneration of the Holy Spirit, will follow Jesus Christ with no reservations. The one who is not willing to follow Jesus is spiritually dead..

Jesus’ answer reveals that there is something far more important than spending life in the same geographical location as our families. The matter of greatest priority is following Jesus Christ with no reservations, holding nothing back, and attaching no strings

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  1. #1 by raquelamisto on June 8, 2008 - 8:08 pm

    I just recently read this (last week?) but it was Luke’s version.

    My thoughts have been revolving around how these conversations all lead up to Christ’s final response (again, found in Luke 9):

    Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

    ouch.

    I don’t think that the particular thing that we look to is consequential. Could be family, could be housing, could be health coverage, could be ‘safety’, etc. I think that what matters is that we WON’T BE FIT FOR SERVICE IN THE KINGDOM if we promise our lives to Christ and then wonder what we’re missing out on (or indulge in what we think we’re missing out on, for that matter). I think that naming the idol isn’t as important as recognition and removal of the idol.

    Tosses an uncomfortable perspective for me, personally… cause I so desperately want to be fit (the Greek is ‘well placed, useful’) for God’s service. I don’t want to look back. I want to, in utter joy, lavish in every second of this life spent with Him. I want to, like you say, follow Jesus with no reservations.

  2. #2 by raquelamisto on June 8, 2008 - 8:10 pm

    why a smiley face in my prior comment? just pretend it’s another )

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