Text: Matthew 8:19-22
19 And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. We frequently see people who come to the church, they go up and sit in that chair, but are unable to make a commitment to be a follower of Jesus. With Jesus, it’s all or nothing. We can’t kind of commit to Jesus. We must fully commit to his will and his way for our lives. But churches are full of people who want to commit, but not strongly enough to forsake the old life and people. They are here today, gone tomorrow.
20 And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. Jesus wanted the man to count the cost of following Him. Jesus had performed so many miracles that people looked at this as being an exciting group to join. The man may have just been looking at the excitement that surrounded Jesus' performing of miracles. Following Him might have seemed more “glamorous” than it really was. Jesus may have received many spontaneous offers like this. Following Jesus means making a commitment and sticking with it. He let the man know that there are going to be times when we will depend on the mercy and kindness of others to have a roof over our heads and food to eat. Jesus didn’t tell the man he couldn’t follow him. He just spoke truthfully about what following him would mean. So, then it was left up to the man to decide if the cost of following Him was too high. In the immediate context of Jesus' ministry, the saying does not mean that Jesus was penniless but in a sense he was homeless in that couldn't stay in one place. because his mission kept him on the move and would keep his followers on the move also he laid out the cost of following him to the man.
21. And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. This seems like a reasonable request. Someone has died or is near death in the family. In this case, naturally you want to be there for the family. Let’s just put this in terms of the old life we had. When the partying and finger popping was going on, we were with the spiritually dead. Once we make a commitment to follow Jesus, we can’t go back into that lifestyle anymore. This man wanted to follow Jesus, but not just yet. Haven’t we talked to people that have said that? "We truly want to follow the teachings of Jesus, but we are not yet ready to make that commitment". They are looking at what they are giving up without considering what they are gaining by following Jesus.
22 But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead. Jesus clearly states the principle that family obligations - or any other obligation - must not be put ahead of following Him. Jesus has to come first in our lives. We should not put things or people before Jesus. Jesus would sometimes discourage potential disciples. Unlike many modern evangelists, He was interested more in quality than in quantity. "Nothing has done more harm to Christianity than the practice of filling the ranks of Christ's army with every volunteer who is willing to make a little profession, and to talk fluently of experience. God wants everyone to be saved. But he just doesn’t want a lot of people per se. He wants committed people who are following his teachings. Often people will come into the church, and insist on being over some ministry without actually giving up any worldly pursuits. This is what Jesus told the young ruler that was rich. (Matthew 19:21-22 21) Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. This was too much of a price for the young man to pay. That’s one of the reasons the Bible says it will be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a Rich man to get into heaven. He doesn’t want to give up his stuff. The lesson in this for us today is that we cannot allow the love of things to keep us from following Jesus. We need to do more than just count the cost. We also need to count the benefits. The benefits overshadow the cost of following him. It’s ultimately all gain for the follower.