"Now when Jesus saw a great crowd around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side. 19 And a scribe came up and said to him, "Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go." 20 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." 21 Another of the disciples said to him, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father." 22 And Jesus said to him, "Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead."
Jesus was in the city of Capernaum on the west side of the Sea of Galilee. The crowds followed Jesus to hear more of His teaching and benefit from His healing powers. Jesus gave orders to His disciples to leave the crowds and cross to the east side of the Sea of Galilee, a crossing of about 3 or 4 miles.
While waiting to get into the boat, a scribe (Jewish teacher of the Law) came up to Jesus saying he would follow Him wherever He went. The scribe was used to living in the top 2% of the economic culture. Jesus informed the scribe the cost of following Him. The scribe would need to be willing to give up His rich lifestyle to follow Jesus. Jesus offered Him a lifestyle with no permanent home.
Another disciple wanted to follow Jesus, but only after he took care of things at home. Jesus' statement in response to the man's condition for following is unclear to our ears today, but crystal clear to the man Jesus spoke to. The man said he would follow Jesus after his father died and the estate was settled - that could be a long time.
Jesus response to the man, "Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead," was clear to the man. Jesus said to the man that he was to let the spiritually dead bury the physically dead and that he was to leave all to follow Jesus. The "all" the man was to leave included his inheritance and family.
Are you willing to give up economic status, inheritance, and family to follow Jesus? The benefits of following Jesus are abundant and eternal life. When we repent of our sin and believe the gospel, we are committing to giving up everything to be a follower of Christ.
Questions for reflection: