10 November 2020 – Matthew 8:18-22 (NIV)

10 November 2020 – Matthew 8:18-22 (NIV)

Scripture

18 When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. 19 Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”

20 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

21 Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”

22 But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”

Reflection

There is a cost to following Jesus. Many of us live in cultures that adhere to a distorted version of God that is more akin to a genie in a bottle. That is, we want a God who grants us wishes and does what we want, rather than asks of us to do what He wants. In The Problem of Pain, CS Lewis said that many people mistake the Father in Heaven for the Grandfather in Heaven – “a senile benevolence who, as they say, ‘liked to see young people enjoying themselves’ and whose plan for the universe was simply that it might be truly said at the end of each day, ‘a good time was had by all.’”

So, in this passage, Jesus is telling his disciples that following him is an act of total submission. We cannot follow Jesus with a divided heart – we can’t also prioritize our careers, ambitions, or even our loved ones. That is not to say those things are not important – indeed, we are called to have vocations, dream big and have thriving relationships. However, none of those things matter from an eternal perspective if we are not first submitting our lives to God. That is the cost of following Jesus.

Thoughts for the day

  • What does this passage tell you about God or Jesus?
  • What does this passage tell you about humanity?
  • What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
  • How can you apply this message in an area of your life that needs transformation?
  • Is there anyone you think should hear or will benefit from this message? Go and tell them.

Prayer

Lord, we ask you to shield all doctors, nurses, first responders and vulnerable people from contracting COVID-19.

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By |2020-11-06T11:22:41+08:00November 10th, 2020|Categories: Week 2|0 Comments

About the Author:

Charlie Engelmann - Elder
Charlie Engelmann currently serving his third term as an elder of SCF. He is the director of Pepperdine University's Shanghai residential program and has lived in China on and off since 2001. He and his wife, Judith, have three kids: Ethan, Evangeline and EJ.