Counting the Cost of Discipleship!!!
Then a certain scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.” And Jesus said to Him, “Foxes have Holes and birds of the air have nests but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head. Then another of His Disciple said to Him, ‘Lord, Let me first go and bury My Father.” But Jesus said to Him, “Follow Me and let the dead bury their dead.”….. Matthew 8:18-22
In our previous Study, we see Jesus departing from Peter’s house because He was not interested in the Multitude but rather He wants to Make Disciples. A Disciple is a Learner and Follower of Jesus Christ. A Disciple is someone who wants to become Like His Master in every area. So Here we See Jesus stating two Conditions that must be fulfilled by those who wants to become His Disciple.
Then a certain Scribe came to Him, saying “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go” : It is a wonderful thing when Scribes who are Bible scholars choose to follow Jesus. A Scribe is a person who has devoted a lot of time to the study of the Scriptures. But this is a Scribe who is no longer interested in more knowledge but now interested in following Jesus. All our knowledge of the Scriptures must lead us to follow Jesus Footsteps and become His Disciples. Our Knowledge of the Scriptures is Useless if it does not lead us to follow Jesus. The problem with many Christians is that they have knowledge but they are not Following. They are Scribes and not Disciples. 99% of Christians knows that the Bible says “Love Your enemies and bless those who Curse You(Matt 5:44)” But How many Christians actually follows it? A scribe Must become a Disciple!!! The Scribe was very determined in his resolution to Christ. He says to the Lord “I will Follow You wherever you go” Is there any expression as wonderful as this? Becoming a Disciple of Jesus is to follow Him wherever He goes. It is to walk exactly as He Walked. It is to watch what He will watch and do only that which He will do. It is easy to express in words but actually majority don’t mean it. There are times we sing it in Songs just because we love the Melody but we really do not mean it. As wonderful as this expression is, it occurred to me that He had a wrong understanding of why He wants to follow Jesus from the way Jesus responded to Him. He had a wrong motive of Wanting to follow Jesus. I perceive He must have seen the Miracles Jesus did in Peter’s house and thought to Himself, “If I follow this Man, very soon I will become Rich because people will be giving Him a Lot of Money, Moreover, I am well rooted in the Scriptures unlike the uneducated Fisher men following Him up and down. Soon I will be the second in command” There are many who profess to follow the Lord but with a Corrupt motive Like this scribe. Let us therefore check why we say to the Lord “I will follow You wherever you go”
Foxes have Holes and birds of the air have nests but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head : Jesus was quick to tell this scribe that the Son of Man who He is so eager to Follow has no place to lay His head. I perceive Jesus was saying to Him “Think about the cost before deciding to Follow Me. If you follow me wherever I go, You may end up not having a House to Live in.” Jesus always present the cost of Discipleship to people from the Beginning so that no one would say “Had I know that the way is Narrow and difficult, I would never have followed”. Behold the Humility of Jesus Christ!!! When the Son of God came to the Earth, He had no place to lay His Head. At His Birth, there was no Room(Luke 2:7). As wicked as Foxes are, Yet they have Holes to shelter them. Even the Birds of the air have their nests, But the most Whole-hearted Man who ever walked on Earth has no place to Lay His head. Indeed Christ was really poor that we may become rich spiritually(2 Corinthians 8:9). It is a False Gospel that says to us that “If we follow Jesus, He will give us houses, cars and properties”. The New Covenant is built on a better promises of Heavenly riches and glory. In the Old Covenant, if you follow the Lord, Your barn will over flow, you will become a rich person and always have a place to lay your head. But we have come to a dispensation where God is raising those who follow the Lord even when He refuse to give them House and other material things. Although, He has promised that if we seek the kingdom of God and his Righteousness first, All other things we need shall be added unto us(Matt 6:33). Total obedience to the Gospel of Christ will actually make you have less of material things because You are going to be Honest, You are going to pay your taxes, You are going to give back what you owe to others and if you still have much with You, You are going to give it away to the poor and for the good of others. Those who claim to have much of material things will discover that it was because they did not give it away to those who are in need around them. But permit me to ask, if He still did not provide you a place to lay your head, Will you stop following Him? Let us therefore Look upon material things with an Holy Contempt and focus on the Treasures which are reserved for us in Heaven. Let us say to the Lord Like Job says “Though He slay Me, Yet I will trust in Him(Job 13:15)
Another of His Disciples said to Him,” Let me first go and bury My Father” : It is a shameful thing when those that are Already Disciples and Follower of Jesus begin to give excuse in order to stop following the Lord. There are many who have been hindered from following the Lord as a result of over-concern and attachment to families and relatives. I perceive this Disciple was saying “Let me wait until my Father dies, then after I bury Him, I will have enough time to come and follow You” Our Responsibilities to our families and relatives should never stop us from following the Lord. As far as possible, we are to Love and care for our family and relatives but We must not allow our care for them to stop our devotions to the Lord. He who loves Father or Mother more than Jesus is not worthy of Him(Matt 10:37). To become a True Disciple, Our Love for Jesus must be so Great that Our Father, Mother, wife, Children, Brothers and Sisters think we Hate them(Luke 14:26). Those who say to the Lord “Let Me First do this and that” never come back to Follow the Lord. There are many Young Men and women who says “Let me First go to school, get a Job, Get Married and have money, then I will come and follow the Lord.” Most of them never came back. And the few who came back had a Lot of scars of bitter experiences. Let us therefore detach ourselves from Soulish Human affections which will hinder us from Following the Lord.
Jesus said to Him, “Follow Me, and Let the Dead bury their own dead” : Christ proved to Him that His excuse is not sufficient. It is better for the dead to be left unburied than for the service to Christ to be neglected. Let the Dead spiritually, bury the Dead!!! Don’t be so concern about it that You lose Your Devotions to the Lord. Burying the dead, especially a dead father, is a good work, but it is not your work at this time: Burying Your Father can be done by others who are not called to follow the Lord Like You are. There are many things we attach so much importance which is not based on the word of God. Even in the old testament, God’s Law for the Nazirite and the Levites was that they are not morn for their parents because the are Holy for the Lord(Numbers 6:6-8, Leviticus 21:11-12). There is nothing wrong in going to bury our Father, but if burying our father comes in competition with following the Lord, it is far better to Leave Him unburied. Let me site an Example, imagine Your Father died and You are called upon to come and carry out some traditional rituals which are against Your Christian Faith for His Burial. What are you to Do? In the case, it is better to Leave Him unburied!!! Let others who are dead go ahead and bury Him. Don’t even contribute Money for any traditional rituals on His behalf. This is a Hard saying but True. When our Devotion to the Lord is in competition with the respect we owe to our Families and relatives, we must stick to the Lord.
Dear Friend, Jesus never forced any of them to become His Disciples neither will He force You. He left it to them to choose. But He presented the cost of Discipleship to them. Sit down and count the Cost lest You lay the Foundation of Your Christian Life and Yet unable to complete it(Luke 14:28-29). To become True Disciple of the Lord, You must be detached from Material things and Soulish Human relationship. Will You still follow the Lord even if He provides You no place to lay your head and sleep? Will you still follow the Lord if it means not having the opportunity and privilege of burying Your Father? Sit down and count the cost lest you say on your way “If I had known that the gate is Narrow and the way is Difficult, I would never have began” sit down and count the cost and after consideration, I beseech You, choose the Way of Discipleship for it is the Only Way that Leads to Life!!! May the Lord give us Grace to Follow Jesus wherever He Goes, May we not harden our Hearts where He says to us, “Follow Me and let the dead bury their dead” (Amen). God bless you. Have a blessed day.
#Everyday with Jesus