A reading from the gospel of Matthew 8:18-22
18 When Jesus saw a crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other shore.
19 A scribe approached and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”
20 Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.”
21 Another of his disciples said to him, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.”
22 But Jesus answered him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead.”
Reflection: Follow Me
In the gospel, two prospective disciples of Jesus are presented. One promised to follow Jesus everywhere but another makes an excuse to bury his dead father first.
Previously, we read about a crowd around Him. Why were they following Him? Reading other parts of the scripture, we note that many people were looking for miracles while others were mesmerized by His teachings. Others maybe were just curious and others had sinister motives.
Yet we also know of some people like the apostles who left everything to follow Jesus. They followed Jesus because they saw their future in Him. Jesus was their hope for salvation. In the words of Simon Peter, Jesus has the words of eternal life. (John 6:68)
We ask ourselves a question. Can we follow Him though He doesn’t lead us to a physical palace where we can enjoy rest on a bed of roses? Jesus insists that we follow Him unconditionally, leaving behind everything even family. This may sound strange. After all, the bible tells us to honor our parents. But in Mark 3:35, Jesus proclaims that anyone who does the will of His Father in heaven is His mother, brother and sister.
Obviously, Jesus demands a high standard for a follower. In other words, following Jesus is costly. The challenge for us today is to search our heart and begin to follow Jesus more closely without hesitation or turning back. Following Him and having a relationship with Him is paramount.