Sunday, December 19, 2021
Your Business Is Life, Not Death
18-19 When Jesus saw that a curious crowd was growing by the minute, he told his disciples to get him out of there to the other side of the lake. As they left, a religion scholar asked if he could go along. “I’ll go with you, wherever,” he said.
20 Jesus was curt: “Are you ready to rough it? We’re not staying in the best inns, you know.”
21 Another follower said, “Master, excuse me for a couple of days, please. I have my father’s funeral to take care of.”
22 Jesus refused. “First things first. Your business is life, not death. Follow me. Pursue life.”
-Matthew 8:18-22 The Message
Verse 18: Now, when Jesus saw a crowd around Him, He gave orders to depart to the other side of the sea.
Verse 19: Then a scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.”
Verse 20: And Jesus *said to him, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”
Verses 19-20 studies: It’s not easy or comfortable to follow Jesus. It means sacrifice or significant cost with no earthly rewards or security. Jesus didn’t have a place to call home. You will find that following Christ will cost you popularity, friendships, leisure time, or treasured habits. But, while following Christ may cost, the value of being Christ’s disciple is even higher. Like anything we invest in, being a disciple is an investment that will last for eternity and yield incredible rewards.
Verse 21: And another of the disciples said to Him, “Lord, allow me first to go and bury my father.”
Verse 22: But Jesus *said to him, “Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”
Verses 21-22 studies: Looking at these two verses, the disciple was asking not to go to his father’s funeral and perhaps wanted to follow Jesus until his father died. He may be the firstborn son and wanted to claim his inheritance. He probably didn’t want to face his father’s wrath if he left the family business to follow a traveling preacher. It is unknown if financial security was a problem or a family problem; he didn’t want to commit himself to Jesus. Jesus did not accept his excuse.
Jesus is always upfront with those who want to follow him. Jesus made sure they counted the cost and set aside any conditions for following him. As God’s Son, Jesus didn’t hesitate to demand loyalty. Family loyalty couldn’t take priority over the demands of obedience. The challenge is to ask ourselves about our own priorities in following him. The decision to follow Jesus should not be put off through other loyalties compete for our attention. Nothing should be placed above total commitment to living for him.
Mark 4:35; Luke 8:22
Daniel 7:13; Matthew 9:6; 12:8, 32, 40; 13:41; 16:13, 27f; 17:9; 19:28; 26:64; Mark 8:38; Luke 12:8; 18:8; 21:36; John 1:51; 3:13f 6:27; 12:34; Acts 7:56
Matthew 9:9; Mark 2:14; Luke 9:59; 60; John 1:43; 21:19
Being faithful to you can be challenging, especially when our goals don’t match yours, like fitting in with the world. Father, I pray today that we can see the benefit of following you and being obedient. The difference between following the world and following you is different with different outcomes. In Jesus’ name. Amen.