Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Discipleship's costs

Jesus heals the demoniacs - Artist unknown
Jesus heals the demoniacs - Artist unknown
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Matthew 8:18-34

TO CHEW ON: "Then a certain scribe came and said to Him, 'Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.' And Jesus said to him, 'Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.' " Matthew 8:20

Yesterday we saw Jesus the mentor/rabbi pouring Himself into crowds and individuals, Jews and Gentiles, strangers and friends, untouchables and undiagnosables. I'm sure His disciples were getting the idea—this teacher is a challenge to emulate!

In our reading today He outright says some things about the cost of discipleship that probably left no doubt in His disciples' minds that they had embarked on a humanly impossible life.

Translated into today-speak for us:

1. Discipleship may cost some of the things to which we think we're entitled
—like a home address (Matthew 8:19-20).

2. Discipleship will impinge on relationships and obligations
—like family responsibilities (Matthew 8:21-22).

3. Discipleship may thrust us into situations that feel dangerous and where our faith will be stretched.
In our reading the disciples drift right into a storm. In the tempest-tossed boat, Jesus says to them, " 'Why are you fearful, O you of little faith,' " before He takes care of the storm (Matthew 8:23-26).

4. Discipleship can be thankless.
The people of the Gergesene-area city near where Jesus cast demons from two men have no compassion for the men or gratitude that they've been set free. Rather, they are upset because of the drowned hogs and beg Jesus to leave (Matthew 8:28-34).

I ask myself am I realistic about discipleship's costs? Are you? Or are we caught off-guard when life's hand is out, demanding such payments from us?

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, help me to count the cost of discipleship and choose day by day to continue as Your disciple. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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