Thursday is for Discipleship
“Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”
And Jesus said to him,
“Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.”
Think about that. On the surface, it is Jesus helping a would-be follower come to grips with the “cost of discipleship.” He is driving home the point that discipleship is more than a will to follow in the sunshine when the thrill of his words in the air find an echo in the heart. Following Jesus is costly. He did not live a cushy life and slaves are not greater than their master. We shouldn’t expect that following him will lead to cushy comfort or security from dangerous tasks.
Think a bit deeper about what this scene as well as some other New Testament and Bible facts imply or state about Jesus:
- There is no physical description of Jesus in the New Testament.
- But Isaiah tells us that there was nothing special about his appearance or the resonance of his voice, no majesty in his form, no beauty that drew people to him. (Isaiah 53:2)
- Luke 8:3 tells us that his ministry was basically funded by some wealthy women.
So the short bio is:
No home, no job, no income, no wheels, no beauty, no grand social pedigree, no wife, no children, no books written … yet …
… twelve men left everything to follow him,
… crowds in the thousands flocked to hear him teach about the kingdom of God
… and a small band of 120 left an upper room after his resurrection and changed the world forever.
Napoleon (surprising source) said it well.
“I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between him and every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded an empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for him.”
(Frank Mead, ed. Encyclopedia of Religious Quotations, Westwood, CA: Fleming H. Revell, n.d., p.56)
So here’s a brilliant question posed to me by Pastor John Byrd of Jubilee Baptist Church in Bolingbrook, IL. “How do you contextualize Matthew 8:20 for 21st century American Christians?” “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.”
Let the discussion begin!