Passage: Matthew 8:18-22 [NKJV]
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[a] 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.[b]”[NLT]
Mat 8:20 The Son of man – The expression is borrowed from Dan_7:13, and is the appellation which Christ generally gives himself: which he seems to do out of humility, as having some relation to his mean appearance in this world. Hath not where to lay his head – Therefore do not follow me from any view of temporal advantage. John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes
At this point Jesus is really just starting on His ministry. There is still excitement in the air and the city is buzzing with talk of the new prophet. Many think that he may very well be the Messiah come to save them from Roman rule. A scribe approaches him, apparently someone who believes that Jesus has power, and makes the grand statement, ” I will follow you wherever you go”. In todays jargon someone might put it like this..”Man, I’m with ya one hundred and one percent!” But Jesus sees through the rhetoric and reads the heart.
Now grace comes into play ,watch closely…
This man was a scribe; thus he was most likely a man of importance or influence. Chances are the fishermen disciples around Jesus would have been thinking to themselves “We really need this guy on our team”…but, Jesus reads the heart and the true intentions and the grace comes in with his reply to the mans statement.
“Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.”
He could have said, “Your not interested in loving me, but you see an opportunity to gain, get away from me.” or “I know what you really want is power and fame.”
Most of us, myself included, after reading the intentions of someone in this situation probably would have said one of the latter two statements…but Jesus shows grace in His. He doesn’t call the scribe out. He doesn’t point out, for all to see, the true intentions; but, instead, he shows grace and lets the scribe know that what he thinks is not the truth. The grace is in the fact that he doesn’t sugar coat but he also doesn’t destroy the opportunity for the scribes heart to realize truth and change for the better.
Being a follower of Jesus, the Son of Man, is no easy thing. Do not allow yourself to be drawn in for improper reasons like gain, glory, pride, and selfishness. If you are in a church that is telling you that being a follower of Jesus brings bountiful blessings of wealth and comfort (after you’ve sown a little seed money, of course) then you are in a church that has sought to draw you in with false pretenses. Jesus would never seek to woo you with promises of comfort and a carefree life, because that just isn’t truth. He lays it all on the line. He will never try to persuade you with tricks or by appealing to your sinful selfish nature…he only comes to you with truth. Are you not thankful for that? What good is anything if it is not true…..?
Lord of Heaven and Earth,
Thank You so much for always telling us the truth. It is a good thing for my heart to know that what You say to me is always true and never laced with manipulations. Help me to love Your truth more than my life. Help me to share Your truth with others who are lost under the cover of darkness and lies.
Thank You for all that You provide in my life Lord. My household is struggling a little right now and we are seeking Your guidance. We do not expect ease..but we do want clear direction. Help us to know Your will.
Be with our children. Keep them safe in all they do. Draw their hearts to You Lord. Amen.