Hugh, Bishop of Lincoln, 1200
Text for the Reflection
Now when Jesus saw great crowds around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side. A scribe then approached and said, ‘Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.’ Another of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, first let me go and bury my father.’ But Jesus said to him, ‘Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.’
The reading of today comes after a series of healing miracles that attracted huge crowds. Jesus decided to go to the other side of the lake and it is at this point we read the scribe pledging to follow Jesus wherever He goes. Was this pledge out of the will to serve Jesus or was it out of the love of the crowds that surround Jesus? We certainly don’t know and here is Jesus´ response; do you want to follow me? Then you must be ready to suffer. You must be ready to be destitute and homeless. This is why in some bibles this text is given the herding; Cost of Discipleship. There is a cost in serving Christ. Then the second person asked for permission to go and bury his father before following Jesus. Ensuring your father had a proper burial was among the highest duties of a Jewish eldest son. So this disciple is saying to Jesus; “·I want to follow you, but first I have other duties to take care of.” The Bible stipulates that we should honour our parents and this disciple seemed to be right, but here the matter is not honouring your parents or not but rather a matter of ordering principles: Which is the higher call? Which is the higher duty? So his point is that there is no earthly duty that can take precedence over this duty to follow him. None, not even one. If you must give up anything to follow Christ, you give it up. You go. You don’t look back. If you don’t, you can’t follow him. This is where we fail as today´s Christians; we first prioritize our own things and then God at last. God is not our priority; he is just one of the items on our wish list.
Let Us Pray
Grant, we beseech you, merciful Lord, to your faithful people pardon and peace, that they may be cleansed from all their sins and serve you with a quiet mind; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and
reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.