A scribe came up 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.” Another of the disciples said to him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.” [Matthew 8:19-22 CSB]
I am intrigued by the two responses that Jesus gave to some pretty simple questions.
I think that his answers hits to the heart of what it means to follow Jesus.
In a few sentences he addresses two things that people find hard to let go.
He tells the scribe that following him is not about earthly security.
Many of the disciples left the security of homes and fishing boats to follow a man that had neither.
To follow Jesus is to let go of our need for earthly security and trust God to meet our needs.
He tells the second disciple that following him is about embracing a new family.
Often we read into verses like these and think that God want us to reject our family.
I think that he is simply asking us to let go of the security of one family for another.
The cost of discipleship is not cheap and should not be entered into lightly.
Jesus put it this way later in Matthew's gospel:
“Whoever loves father or mother or son or daughter more than me is not fit to be my disciple. And whoever comes to me must follow in my steps and be willing to share my cross and experience it as his own, or he cannot be considered to be my disciple. All who seek to live apart from me will lose it all. But those who let go of their lives for my sake and surrender it all to me will discover true life!This is a difficult message. His words speak for themselves.
Following Jesus has never been easy because it requires us to let go of earthly security.
In the end, trusting God is all about letting go of things temporal for things eternal.
Have mercy on me Lord that I might let go of my life to find security in you.
... this devotion is part of the Red Letters series. Click here to read more.