Daily Reflections

Evening reflection from Matthew 8:18-22

Following Jesus is not always easy or comfortable. Often it comes at great cost and sacrifice, with no earthly rewards or security. Jesus did not have a place to call home. You might find that following him costs you popularity, friendships, leisure time, or treasured habits. But while the cost of following Jesus is high, the value of being his disciple is even higher. Discipleship is an investment that lasts for eternity and yields incredible rewards.

The disciple in the text may not have been asking for permission to go to his fathers funeral but rather to put of following Jesus until his elderly father died. Perhaps he was the firstborn son and wanted to be sure to claim his inheritance. Maybe he didn’t want to face his fathers wrath if he left the family business to follow an itinerant preacher. Whether his concern was financial security, family approval or something else, he did not want to commit himself to Jesus just yet. Jesus however, would not accept his excuse.

Jesus was always direct with those who wanted to follow him. He made sure they counted the cost and set aside any conditions they might have for following him. As God’s son, Jesus did not hesitate to demand complete loyalty. Even family loyalty was not to take priority over the demands of obedience to him. His direct challenge forces us to ask ourselves about our own priorities in following him. The decision to follow Jesus should not be put off, even though other loyalties compete for out attention. Nothing should be placed above commitment to living for him.