Today’s Reading: Matthew 8:18-34 (additional reading: Psalm 10:1-15 & Proverbs 3:7-8)
One of the things I appreciate about today’s Scripture is its brutal honesty. God wants us to have our eyes wide open as we seek to follow him. Jesus is being brutally honest here. He lets it be known that following him is no picnic. It’s not always easy being a follower of Jesus. And to me, it’s like I hear him asking the question you see for the title of the message, “Are you REALLY sure you want to do this?”
Disciples not only believe in Jesus, they live for him. They’re believers who have decided that the status quo of their spiritual life isn’t good enough, and they want more of Jesus and what he has to offer, in spite of the costs.
When Jesus said “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” He was not exactly living under bridges, He wasn’t say I am a poor homeless person. The Bible tells us in one of the other gospels that there were a number of people who supported Jesus’ ministry financially and welcomed him into their home and the disciples even had Judas as a treasurer.
So what’s Jesus saying here? He’s saying that he was constantly on the move, that you might be sleeping in a different place each night, and that you’ll probably be camping most of the time. It would involve letting go of your earthly priorities and possessions for his sake. It would involve living according to his schedule, not yours. So here’s the question he was asking then, and that he’s asking you now: are you willing to let Jesus run the show? Are you willing to become identified as a follower of Jesus no matter what? “Are you REALLY sure you want to do this?”
Comedian Yakov Smirnoff said when he first came to the United States from Russia; he wasn’t prepared for the incredible variety of instant products available in American grocery stores. He says, “On my first shopping trip, I saw powdered milk–you just add water, and you get milk. Then I saw powdered orange juice–you just add water, and you get orange juice. And then I saw baby powder, and I thought to my self, what a country!”
Sometimes the truth of the matter is that if we’re not careful, we can get the idea that following Jesus is just as easy as getting instant milk. Add Jesus to your life and it becomes easy. Jesus doesn’t offer us a easy life, but He does offer us the only life that really matters, a life in fellowship with the Father.