What Jesus Did! 'The Hard Follow' — Matthew 8:19-22

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Then a teacher of the law came to Jesus and said, "Teacher, I will follow you any place you go." Jesus said to him, "The foxes have holes to live in. The birds have nests to live in. But the Son of Man has no place where he can rest his head." Another man, one of Jesus' followers, said to Jesus, "Lord, let me go and bury my father first. {Then I will follow you.}" But Jesus said to him, "Follow me, and let the people that are dead bury their own dead."
— Matthew 8:19-22
Illustration of Matthew 8:19-22 — "Follow me, and let the people that are dead bury their own dead."

Key Thought

At first glance, Jesus is unusually harsh to these two would-be followers. Jesus, however, is making clear that anything other than our allegiance to him must be secondary to following him. There must not be any rival to the complete lordship of Jesus over every area of our lives. Such a life is demanding, and as events that follow show, even terrifying at times. There is, however, one thing that makes that life powerful and exciting: the Lord is in the lead. He sets the agenda. He provides the strength. He gives the protection. He works with power. While leaving all, risking all, and giving up all sounds quite sacrificial, it is also the doorway to finding an all-sufficient, almighty Savior.

Today's Prayer

Holy Lord, I surrender my heart, my life, my possessions and my future to you. Lead me in the path that pleases you and gives you the greatest allegiance in my use of time, influence, money, and abilities. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Jesus saw that all the people were around him. So Jesus told his followers to go to the other side of the lake. Then a teacher of the law came to Jesus and said, "Teacher, I will follow you any place you go." Jesus said to him, "The foxes have holes to live in. The birds have nests to live in. But the Son of Man has no place where he can rest his head." Another man, one of Jesus' followers, said to Jesus, "Lord, let me go and bury my father first. {Then I will follow you.}" But Jesus said to him, "Follow me, and let the people that are dead bury their own dead." Jesus got into a boat and his followers went with him. After the boat left the shore, a very bad storm began on the lake. The waves covered the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The followers went to Jesus and woke him. They said, "Lord, save us! We will drown!" Jesus answered, "Why are you afraid? You don't have enough faith." Then Jesus stood and gave a command to the wind and the waves. The wind stopped, and the lake became very calm. The men were amazed. They said, "What kind of man is this? Even the wind and the water obey him!" Jesus arrived at the other side of the lake in the country of the Gadarene people. There, two men came to Jesus. They had demons inside them. These men lived in the burial caves. They were very dangerous. So people could not use the road by those caves. The two men came to Jesus and shouted, "What do you want with us, Son of God? Did you come here to punish us before the right time?" Near that place there was a large herd of pigs feeding. The demons begged Jesus, "If you make us leave these men, please send us into that herd of pigs." Jesus said to them, "Go!" So the demons left those men and went into the pigs. Then the whole herd of pigs ran down the hill and into the lake. All the pigs drowned in the water. The men that had the work of caring for the pigs ran away. They went into town and told the people what happened. They told about all that happened with the pigs and with themen that had demons. Then the whole town went out to see Jesus. When the people saw Jesus, they begged him to leave their area.

Matthew 8:18-34

Related Scripture Readings

"Enter through the narrow gate {that opens the way to heaven}. The road that leads to hell is a very easy road. And the gate to hell is very wide. Many people enter that gate. But the gate that opens the way to {true} life is very small. And the road to {true} life is very difficult (hard). Only a few people find that road.

Matthew 7:13-14

Jesus continued to say to all of them, "If any person wants to follow me, he must say 'No' to the things he wants. That person must accept the cross (suffering) that is given to him every day, and he must follow me. The person that wants to save his life will lose it. And every person that gives his life for me will save it.

Luke 9:23-24

It is the same for each of you. You must decide if you can leave everything you have to follow me. If not, you cannot be my follower!

Luke 14:33

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.