Archive for June, 2008
In this world where men forget us, change their attitude toward us as their private interests dictate, and revise their opinion of us for the slightest cause, is it not a source of wondrous strength to know that the God with whom we have to do changes not? That His attitude toward us now is the same as it was in eternity past and will be in eternity to come?
Jesus wants us to follow him with no reservations, no greater priorities, no lists of conditions. What follows in Matthew 8 is a lesson about life when we actually do follow Jesus. Often this episode is viewed in isolation from the previous two accounts on discipleship; however, I think it’s an extension of the previous section. Read the rest of this entry »
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? Read the rest of this entry »
In Matthew 8 a scribe comes to Jesus and says, “Master I will follow you wherever you go.” Isn’t that the heart of discipleship, being willing to follow Jesus wherever he goes, wherever he leads? I think so.
Jesus’ response here always kind of troubled me. He says:
Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.
The scribe says he is willing to follow Jesus anywhere. So Jesus tells him that he doesn’t have a place to live? In your mind, think of the worst that our Lord endured while he was on this earth. The cross…it’s a no-brainer. Our Lord could have said,
Are you sure you want to follow me wherever I go? I am going to be rejected by the very ones that I came to save. I will be mocked by my creation, those who should worship me. I will be taken to the hill called Calvary where I will endure the death of the cross, bearing the sins of the world, and facing the totality of God’s wrath in the place of every sinner. Are you really sure you are willing to follow me anywhere?
He doesn’t even have to go there; He knows the minds and heart-intents of all men. As such, He knows that the scribe does not really mean that he will follow the Lord anywhere. Our Lord doesn’t have to say:
If any man will come after let him deny himself and take up his cross daily…
All He says is:
I don’t have a place to live
I believe that was enough to scare the scribe away…
What would it take to scare you away?
We should all have the attitude of “Lord I will follow you wherever you go!” But what would it take to scare you away from following? What would our Lord have said to you?
I don’t have a home.
I don’t have an ipod.
I don’t have a week-end home on the lake.
I don’t make six figures.
Jesus wants us to follow him with no reservations, no strings attached, and nothing held back.