by Dr. Brad Strait, CCPC Lead Pastor
When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”
Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.” (Matthew 8:18-22)
Whoa. Jesus says to us that following him is the most important thing on earth. More than food and water. More than warmth or shelter. More than family obligations. This stretches us. We are designed to hunger for many things. Face it—we are a people of wants. We live in a culture spectacular at marketing more wants. Comfort. Control. Security. Pleasure. Excitement. Status. Health. Escape.
God knows we need the basics of life. But at the base, Jesus says that only following him is critical. The rest will then will fall into place. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33).
Follow me. Or do not follow me.
To Jesus, it is a binary choice, not based on some grading curve. Not, “visit with me for a while.” Not, “walk half-way on the path I walk.” Not, “pick-and-choose when or where you can be my disciple.” No dipping of the toes in the water, or little sample bites. Jump.
Follow me. Or do not follow me. In or out. C.S. Lewis is clear, ”Jesus can’t be used as a road. If you’re approaching Him not as the goal, but as a road, not as the end but as a means, you’re not really approaching Him at all.” As Theologian Yoda adds to young Luke, “Do or do not. There is no try.”
Virginia Stem Owens writes,
There are no two ways about it. You’ve got your eyes open or you don’t. You’re watching at midnight or you’re not. You better be ready when it comes flying at you, skimming swiftly over the surface of time. The cares of this world are no excuse. Not father, mother, wife, nor children. No burials or births or weddings. Not fixing formula, scrubbing toilets, peddling pills or prose. Whatever the great human enterprise currently in hand, the point is to watch. All the rest is addenda. Seeking the kingdom is the essential integer.
Jesus says, “One thing. Follow me. All in. Then let me take care of the rest.”
Daily Devos is blog that gives insight and encouragement into this troubling season of Social Distancing due to Covid-19.
Jesus is the answer to lasting hope in this time, and we can live unafraid.
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