By Allen White
When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he instructed his disciples to cross to the other side of the lake. Then one of the teachers of religious law said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”
But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.”
Another of his disciples said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.”
But Jesus told him, “Follow me now. Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead.
Jesus had nothing against funerals or the Holiday Inn. He wasn’t advocating a bohemian lifestyle where everyone just went with the flow and landed wherever they happened to be. On the other hand, God requires first place in our lives. Anything that we desire more than God hampers what God has called us to do.
When we read passages like this, we have to remember that Jesus, being God, is omniscient. He knows everything. While Jesus heard their words, He also knew their hearts.
Jesus knew that the religious leader who pledged to follow Him anywhere needed the comfort of a soft pillow and a warm bed at night. Following Jesus isn’t always that easy.
Another disciple wanted to bury his father. This disciple wasn’t one of the twelve, but he was a regular. His desire was to follow Jesus, but his family obligation impeded his allegiance to Christ. We have to read between the lines a little here.
God gave the fifth commandment to honor father and mother (Exodus 20:12). Jesus was well aware. But, there was something about this disciple’s family obligation that went beyond attending a funeral service. There was an attachment that would interfere with following Christ. Just like the rich young ruler who wouldn’t release the burden of his wealth, this disciple wouldn’t trust his family to God.
Now, don’t get me wrong – God doesn’t want us to disown our families or become homeless to follow Him. But, are other things standing in the way of serving God? What is keeping you from becoming preoccupied with God?
It’s easy to be preoccupied with television programs or social media or the Maryland Terrapins’ new football uniforms. But, in the end, does it matter if Dog the Bounty Hunter captured the perp or if Ashton Kutcher retweets our tweet? Besides, do you even know a Maryland fan?
What is keeping you from becoming preoccupied with God? He is at work all around you every day. What is He up to? What does He intend when He puts a person or a situation in front of you? How will He help you live for Him in your workplace, family or neighborhood? What’s holding you back?
To make a tax deductible donation to Galatians 4:19 Ministries: