On Tuesday during Bible Study, my group and I were considering Matthew 8:18-22 about the cost to follow Jesus. The passage was about two disciples who wanted to follow the Lord Jesus. One, a scribe, boldly declared, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.” But, the Lord reminded him to consider the cost. The Lord was traveling during that time with no house or place to lay His head. He was reminding the scribe that to follow Him, he would have to give up the luxuries of his life–a bed, his family, even his material possessions–to follow the Lord wherever He went. However, when a different disciple asked the Lord if he could first bury his father, the Lord replied, “Follow Me.” We were initially confused because this seemed like a very reasonable request. But, as we fellowshipped, we realized that this disciple was considering the cost too much, and these two examples of these two disciples set the principle for us how to follow the Lord. When we commit ourselves to follow the Lord, we need to realize this is not a light matter. To perfect us and cause us to grow spiritually, the Lord may arrange unpleasant situations for us to pass through. Moreover, He may touch us to give Him our education, career, family, and even our whole future. But! What happens after we consider the cost? What do we do? Do we buckle under the pressure, or do we strive and struggle to pay it with our own effort? No! What does the Lord say? He says, “Follow Me!” He is our motivation and goal in our Christian pursuit. Hebrews 12:2 says, “Looking away unto Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith.” We need to look away from the price, the cost, to our beloved Lord! When we realize He is the reward, He is our goal, we will spontaneously be willing to pay the price, and the Lord will strengthen and supply us to follow Him! Hallelujah! The cost is nothing compared to the Christ we gain!
WAIT ME TOO!
I also really enjoyed Matthew 8 in our Bible study regarding following the Lord. I don’t know about you, but especially during midterm season (which is basically the entire semester–yuck) I always put off spending time with the Lord, like, “I’ll spend more time with You AFTER this midterm,” or, “Sorry, maybe next semester I’ll be less busy.” I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one. BUT THIS IS NOT GOOD.
When we were reading about the scribe that said he was going to follow Him, Jesus responded with, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of heaven have roosts, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head” (v. 20), because the scribe wasn’t thinking about the cost of following the Lord. On the other hand, the other disciple was thinking too much about the cost, so the Lord just told him, “Follow Me!” Even though there are other matters of this world that we are involved in, we need to lay them down and follow Him, for things of the world will be taken care of by the world.
Of course there will be a cost in living a Christian life. Even so, we should just put all of our troubles on Him because He has a plan for everything. So, I’m not telling you to literally drop everything and wander for 40 years, but to take the Lord as a part of your daily living. By following the Lord, He will be faithful to supply us in our pursuit of Him.