“Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
Matthew 8:20 (context, vv. 18-22)
A scribe wants to become a disciple–but he really hasn’t the slightest of what following means. This passage (vv. 18-22) is radical. We find a perspective that stretches and corrects our understanding of life itself. We’re forced to see things from a completely different point of view.
“I wonder if this man thought, ‘Well, now, I am a scribe. If I join that company, I shall be a leader. I perceive that they are only fishermen, the bulk of them; and if I come in amongst them, I shall be a great acquisition to that little band. I shall no doubt be the secretary.’ Perhaps he may have thought that there was something to be made out of such a position; there was one who thought so.”
We find something disturbing here. Jesus and the twelve are living day-to-day without the security of a home. They are homeless. And if we seriously think about the ramifications of following, we are left with this strange idea of a radical renunciation. The Lord Jesus makes it very clear that this is His plan for everyone who asks permission to follow.
“Jesus didn’t tell the man “No, you can’t follow Me.” But He told him the truth, without painting a glamorized version of what it was like to follow Him. This is the opposite of techniques used by many evangelists today, but Jesus wanted the man to know what it would really be like.”
Sometimes we try hard to understand exactly what this means in the 21st century. But we can never reduce or minimize scripture. If we discover that something grates us the wrong way, that typically means that the scripture has special meaning for us. I have learned that the truth is almost always negative when we first hear it–and I don’t know why this is so.
“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost.”