7 March 2021
The Cost of Discipleship – Matthew 8:18-22

18 When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. 19 Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”
20 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
21 Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
22 But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”

A. There is always the crowd to think about…
18 When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake.

Question 1: How strongly influenced by “the crowd” have you been in terms of your life and faith choices?
Question 2: Why is Jesus preparing to leave the crowd and travel somewhere else?
Question 3: Is the Christian faith essentially a lonely journey without others?

B. There is always the full cost to consider…
19 Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”
20 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

Question 4: What things do we tend to trust in for our personal security?
Question 5: What are the uncertainties involved in following Christ?

C. There is always a good reason for delaying…
21 Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
22 But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”

Question 6: Could family responsibilities potentially come between us and following Christ?
Question 7: What “good reasons” do people come up with for not following Christ?
Question 8: How might we reset our personal priorities in the light of the challenges from this passage?

A Prayer
Dear loving, merciful Heavenly Father, thank you that you speak to me as an individual and call me to follow you. Help me appreciate the importance of following you and be prepared to pay the cost of doing so.  In the power of the Holy Spirit, help me deal with my sorrows and turn pain into purpose, removing all “good reasons” from my mind for not following you.  Thank you that the directness of your challenge is proportionate to the loving urgency of your call on my life. Help me follow you, now and evermore, Amen.