Matt 8:19-20 Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
I love statements like this one from Jesus. We don’t know who the expert in the law was but his boast of being willing to follow the Lord unconditionally was immediately tested. We don’t know from the account if he passed the test and followed the Lord in a life of self-denial. Jesus repeatedly taught that a disciple is not above his Master meaning a disciple must be willing to imitate his Master. Jesus was calling this scribe to give up the most basic creaturely comforts like Jesus if was going to become a genuine follower.
Jesus has never required that I go without a “hole” or a “nest” but this is not above him. He is Lord. He has a claim on every area of my life. Following him may mean homelessness. I constantly marvel at what the Son of Man was willing to endure on my behalf in his life and his death. I’ve never been without a comfortable place to lay my head at night. That was not true of Jesus.
We must all realize that sacrifice and suffering accompanies the life of a Jesus follower. I memorized 2 Timothy 3:12 at the beginning of my Christian life forty years ago. Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. None of us know exactly how this verse will be worked out in our individual lives but we are promised persecution. It may come from unbelievers, nominal believers, or compromised believers. It may come from friends or family (Matt 10:34-39). We simply don’t know how we will suffer for the cause of Christ. We only know that we will suffer if we pursue a godly life in Christ Jesus. The lack of persecution stands out as an indictment of the believer and the church.
Yesterday we learned our house is worth fifty thousand dollars less than we owe on it. It has depreciated in value over the last 4 years. I honestly don’t know what we will do. We can’t afford the mortgage any longer. This is not a pitch for funds or a manipulative technique to get people to give. It is simply the harsh and painful reality we face and it is due to the stand I have taken for righteousness sake. That’s okay. We live in an upside down world. Final justice comes at the end of the world.
I am comforted by Jesus’s words. Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head. I have little doubt God will provide a place for us to lay our heads at night. Nothing I ever experience compares to the sacrifice and suffering of Jesus. If we must be discomforted in our following of the Savior that is part of the joy that comes with discipleship. Losing the home and property we love is gain in the Kingdom of God (Matt 16:26).
The last 9 years have been filled with trials of various kinds. It has required and produced perseverance (Jam 1:2-4). Once again the Lord has called us to “walk by faith not by sight” (2 Cor 5:7). When a furious storm came up on the Sea of Galilee the disciples in the boat with Jesus panicked. That is our temptation. But Christ the Lord did not take kindly to their unbelief. He rebuked them for their lack of faith (Matt 8:23-27). We too are commanded to the trust the Lord who is good, wise and sovereign even when our hearts are filled with fear and sorrow. This I know, Even the winds and the waves obey him! How much more the circumstances of our lives.
We would appreciate your prayers as the Holy Spirit puts us upon your hearts. Thank you.
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