Matthew 8:19 And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.
Many are there in Eastern culture, especially for first-born sons who have delayed full commitment to Christ as the expectation of the parents are for the first-born sons to bury them in their heathen traditions as a measure of filial piety. These are able to empathise with the scribe in wanting to bury his father first before committing wholly to Christ.
The cost of following Jesus is really the cost of marrying, when a young man is told to leave his father and mother and to cleave to his wife. It is the cost of joining the Bride of Christ, as Christ is the Bridegroom. We are to die to self in marriage, glorifying God in this picture of God’s relationship to His people, of Christ’s relationship to His church. Truly it cost Christ a lot, He left His Father’s glory and came down to earth as a sacrifice for His Bride. So it is our duty to reciprocate His love.
What is the prize for forfeiting the temporary relationship of father and mother and other loved possessions? His participation in our lives, His Presence, His provision, His promises, His forever.
Mark 10:28,29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.
When we become a member of the household of faith we are admitted into a household that is more than father and mother .. the everlasting Lord of Creation becomes our Father , our Security, our Purpose and Satisfaction
We become heir and joint-heir with Christ in inheriting all that the Father has in store for those that love Him, encapsulated in His precious promises to His children. Have you ever thought how the Lord dispenses his wonderful inheritance to us? Morning by morning – His mercy is new every morning.
Living the Christian life means following our Lord, no matter what. He asks to love the unlovable, to forgive the unforgivable; He tells us to yield all our life to Him; He tells some to give away all their possessions.
Far from promising us an easy life, Jesus promises us trials and troubles: “In the world you have tribulation,” – but praise God He doesn’t stop there He says, “but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). God’s promise to us is that He is in control, and that He will strengthen us and enable us to live lives worthy of His calling, as He works all things together for His glory and our good.
Part of the promise surely is that we have eternal life now. We have “joy unspeakable” because of our relationship to God; we have the love, joy, and peace the world longs for because the Spirit dwells in us. We have a true intimacy, a true fellowship with one another because He has made us brothers and sisters in Him, He has made us into one body. We are fulfilled as we become what God intends us to be. All this is much more valuable than anything we may give up.
You are going to get more — more of what you really want! God promises us complete security; nothing can harm us until we have completed His work for us in this world, and then we will be received by Him with great rejoicing. And in this life, He promises us the joy and pleasure we really want, that we try to get from hoarding possessions.
The Christian knows that everything we own is a gift from the One who loves us more than we can imagine. We trade our insecurity from owning possessions that can be stolen, for unspeakable joy, this world can never know. All He gives no matter how little represent His love. We are released from the fear of tomorrow. We deserve nothing – rather, we deserve eternal punishment in hell — yet look what He gives us! Air to breath, warmth at night, food to eat, covering for our bodies! Every minute we live, then, we can thank God for His great mercy, for the love He shows us in everything that we used to take for granted.
How much of your needs will He supply? All your needs. At what level? “According to His riches in glory” We shall behold it all when we see Him face to face.
Jesus calls us to trade our false life as embodied by material possessions, for His plans; trade our earthly desires and insecurity, for His security; to lose our lives for Jesus, for the gospel. Become great through service. Become like a child: trusting, straightforward, lost in wonder, exceedingly generous. Then step forward – knowing that God will supply all our needs, and give us a joy beyond measure even in this life, as we overflow with thanksgiving for His supply.
So let us step forward knowing that we are invulnerable as God accomplishes His purposes through us in this life and that we are invaluable to Him.