“Now when Jesus saw great crowds around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side. A scribe then approached and said, “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 his disciples said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” But Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”
At first glance, this seems like an easy text and topic to deal with. I’ve been writing devotions for several years and these are the most difficult words I have ever struggled to write. I took notes from Pastor Michelle’s sermon, I read several commentaries and many versions of the Bible for these
It seems so easy. Just follow Jesus.
The first Scribe who says to Jesus that he will follow Him wherever he goes is like a 5-star football recruit. He has brains, can read, write and knows the laws. I like to think I would be most like him. Ha! But what does Jesus tell him, he talks about foxes, birds and no pillow for his head. Why doesn’t he welcome him with open arms? Because he knows this path he is choosing is not for the person who has had an privileged life. Sacrifice will be on every road they travel. If the Son of Man has no home or even a place to lay his head, what would this new recruit expect?
The second disciple is also ready to follow Jesus, just not quite yet. He has family obligations he must get done. This also sounds like me. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for my beloved family. And that is good and noble, but Jesus has other thoughts about this. My Living Bible says, “Follow me now! Let those who are spiritually dead care for their own dead.” Yikes! Is this my Lord and Savior telling me to forget about my family? Not exactly. Here comes the tough part…if you are going to follow Jesus, He expects a full commitment. Be ready to listen for that still, small voice pulling at you to commit, to do God’s work. When you look at the bulletin with so many needs and pleas, what can you do? How can you follow Jesus?
I am blessed to live in a country where being a Christian does not mean I am persecuted for my beliefs. Just watch the evening news and you will see a different story. Can people tell I am a Follower of Jesus by my actions, by my words, or by my commitments?
Dear Jesus, Thank you for wanting me to be Your follower. I know it is a difficult path but with You by my side, watching over me, I can make this world better. Help me to hear Your voice in all the noise and chaos. Amen
Written by Cindy Swanson
Cindy and her husband, Ray, have been members of Sheridan Lutheran Church since 1978. They have 3 sons, Ben, Andrew and Patrick who were confirmed at Sheridan. They enjoy spending time with their 4 grandchildren (ages 2-7). Cindy retired from teaching writing to middle schoolers for Lincoln Public Schools in 2014. She savors a good cup of coffee, a well-written book, a lively discussion and chocolate. She lives near a cemetery and knows each day is a gift!