During my decade long run as a high school teacher, there were many unexpected situations that I wasn’t prepared for. One such circumstance involved students who sought to curry favor with me hoping to soften me up. As a Christian teaching in a faith based school, I was naïve to teenagers with hidden agendas. Knowing the hearts of human beings, nothing got past Jesus. Unafraid of offending individuals, potential disciples of Jesus often replied, “what did he just say?”
Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head,” Luke 9:68.
During one such exchange, Jesus uses an unusual illustration to address someone who vowed to go wherever Jesus went. The passage above summarizes this conversation, suggesting this man walked away disappointed, unable to meet Jesus’ expectations for committed disciples. Based upon the context, Jesus plainly states that there will be many nights without a place to call home. Life as a servant of God takes many twists and turns, relying on faith to know where to go and what to do.
Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God,” Luke 6:70.
The next dialogue in the verse above comes across as cold hearted. Surely, a son or daughter should be able to return home to pay their last respect to a parent. However, the term dead symbolizes the past or those spiritually gone, unable to reach. Thus, the goal of a disciple is to focus on the future, proclaiming the good news about Jesus Christ wherever the Holy Spirit leads you. Jesus made the standards for a disciple so high that only those willing to surrender their lives completely could meet this criteria. While Jesus made several head scratching statements in the Bible, the more you reflect upon his words, the clearer God’s call to action becomes.
by Jay Mankus