Cost of Following Jesus
12 February 2018
GraceNotes – A Journey of Discovery
Scripture: Matthew 8:18-22 (Click link for scripture in Bible Gateway)
18 When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he instructed his disciples to cross to the other side of the lake. 19 Then one of the teachers of religious law said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” 20 But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.” 21 Another of his disciples said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.” 22 But Jesus told him, “Follow me now. Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead.” (Matthew 8:18–22 NLT)
Yesterday we read that Peter had a home, wife, mother-in-law, and probably kids. He left home and followed Jesus. How did his kids turn out? James and John left the family business to follow Jesus. What happened to Zebedee when he got too old to work? Were there other sons to carry on?
I’m curious what it meant to follow Jesus in 30 AD and in 45 AD. We know that these guys did leave it all and follow, and that after Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, they kept following, but differently! We know that Peter’s and some apostles’ wives traveled with them in ministry. 1 Corinthians 9:5. It looks like they figured it out!
But what I really want to know is what does it mean to follow Jesus in 2018? And in 2019. And beyond. We don’t have a 33-year-old Master walking dusty roads, traveling from village to village, to walk alongside day after day!
How do we follow Jesus in a way that is just as real as it was for these guys? How does a man with wife and kids, a single mom raising a boy and a girl, a 60-year-old widow, a couple who married each other after divorce who are making a family of his, hers, and ours kids follow Jesus right now? How does a 20-something with $32,000 in student loan debt, a 55-year-old who can’t work construction anymore, a programmer whose work moves her from city to city, and a retired attorney follow Jesus? Now it’s up to us to figure this out!
Father, My friends and I are taking a fresh look at what “following Jesus” is for us, for people like us, and for people unlike us in our world! It’s complicated now in ways that Matthew didn’t dream of when he wrote this Gospel. By your Word, by your Spirit, and by your Grace, teach us how to be “all in” followers of Jesus. Here. Now. Amen!