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Excuses

And another of His disciples said unto Him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. But Jesus said unto Him, Follow Me; and let the dead bury their dead  – Matthew 8:21-22.

Following Jesus is not always easy or comfortable. Often it means great cost and sacrifice with no earthly rewards or security. We may find that following Jesus costs you popularity, friendships, leisure time, or treasured habits. While the cost of following Jesus is high, the value of being Jesus’ disciples is even higher. Discipleship is an investment that lasts for eternity and yields incredible rewards.Jesus and His disciples were on their way to minister the gospel of the kingdom when one of His disciples made a comment that he would follow the Lord wherever He went. Jesus’ reply was “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man didn’t have a place to lay His head”. Then Jesus asked another disciple to follow Him, but the disciple’s request was to allow him to go and bury his father. Jesus’ reply to the request was ” Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God”.

Jesus’ direct challenges force us to ask ourselves about our own priorities in following Him. The decision to follow Jesus should not be put off, even though other loyalties compete for our attention. The reply to the first disciple indicates there is a price to pay to be a disciple, it’s going to cost you something to walk with Jesus. Jesus instructed the disciple, He didn’t have a place to lay His head, in other words, there would come a time, because of ministering the gospel disciples may lose their homes, cars, employment, because of the faith in Jesus and their submission to the word of God.

There are times a disciple will be tested, not by God, but by the adversary because of their faith just as Job was tested.  Job was a man that loved God and hated evil, and God allowed Satan to test Job to see if he would deny God. Job never blamed God, neither did he lose faith, and because of his faithfulness, God rewarded Job with more than what he lost. Jesus was warning that disciple as well as His current disciples, following Him, you will lose some stuff and people, but if we are faithful to the end as Job was, we also will be rewarded for our faith and commitment to God. God will never allow us to lose something and not replace it with something better.

The disciple whose request was to allow him to go and bury his father, it seemed to be a reasonable request, but it was an excuse to put off following Jesus until his elderly father died. Perhaps he was the first-born son and wanted to be sure to claim his inheritance, or maybe it could have been his concerns of his family approval of following Jesus. Evidently, his family wasn’t Christians for Jesus to make the statement “Let the dead bury their dead”. We all know it’s going to take someone living to bury those who have died, they can’t bury themselves, but Jesus’ statement was although they were living, yet they were dead because their hearts hadn’t been converted to the word of God. They weren’t serving God according to His written instructions, the Bible.

Many times, Christians are more concerned about what their family or people will say about them following Jesus rather than being grateful to become a disciple of Jesus. When it comes to our salvation, we can’t allow anyone to hinder us from following Jesus and the written Word of God. People will leave you, and Jesus will allow you to go to hell if you chose your family over salvation with sanctification. Many are called, but only a few make a choice to be chosen of God to a disciple of Jesus Christ.

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