Tuesday, 10th January, 2017
Theme: FOLLOW ME
Text: Matthew 8:19-22; 9:9-13
HYMN: EMHB 393 – I give my heart to Thee, O Jesus most desired!
Memory Verse: Matthew 9:13 “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but the sinners'” (NIV).
In our texts for today’s reflection we have the story of Jesus Christ’s encounter with three different persons on the issue of following Him. For Matthew 8:19-22, a teacher of the law expressed a desire to follow the Lord to any place He went, and Jesus told the man that he was free to do so, only that He had no personal house where to lay His own head. We do not know what the man did after. The second man said that it was his wish to follow Jesus but that he needed to go and do the burial ceremony of his father, and the Lord asked him to leave that for the moment. There was no report that these two men followed Jesus. Why? Because following Jesus is not like a cup of tea!
In Matthew 9:9-13, we learned that Jesus met Matthew, a tax-collector on duty in the tax office, and called him to follow, and without question, excuse or argument, he left the work immediately and followed the Lord (ref. Mark 2:14; Luke 5:27-29). As soon as Matthew followed Jesus, the next event was a banquet with the Lord in the tax-collector’s home.
This is equal to what in Nigerian military parlance is decrypted as, ‘Obey before complain.’ If Matthew had asked the Lord to come for dinner in his house, he would have missed it. For deciding instantly to be the Lord’s follower, Matthew automatically became one of His own and they could dine and wine together without doubt or fear.
So the view that following Jesus equals a horrible and unpleasant experience is not true because the Lord had moments of unwinding and relaxation. But where any other things tend to compromise the Lord’s principle, they have to give way no matter what it may cost.
Why? Because Jesus is building an everlasting Kingdom of righteousness, life and honour to God far beyond whatever anyone can think of on earth. Are you ready to follow Him?
Prayer: Lord, strengthen my resolve to follow You without complaining in Jesus’ name. Amen.