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Commentary » Matthew 8:18-Matthew 8:27 » Family-Times.net
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Motives of Service

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Motives

In this section Matthew gives two illustrations of men who said they wanted to follow the Lord and serve Him but had the wrong motives.

  1. Desired fame - Because great crowds followed Jesus and there had not been much opposition up to this point, many expressed a desire to follow Him (vv. 18-20). However, they would not be willing to pay the price. One of these men was a scribe who apparently blurted out, “Master I will follow you wherever you go” (v. 19). The Lord obviously knew his heart and saw that he desired fame in following a prominent teacher. Instead of making it easy to follow Him, Jesus insisted that he count the cost of discipleship.
  2. Desired personal convenience - The second man who was already a disciple of Jesus requested that he be permitted to return home and bury his father (v. 21). It appears that the man’s father was not dead or even at the point of death. This man was simply saying that he wanted to return home and wait until his father died. Then he would return and follow Jesus. His request demonstrated that he thought discipleship was something he could do when it was convenient. Jesus response was “Let the spiritually dead bury the physically dead” (v.22). Jesus did not mean disrespect to the father but that it was better to teach the Gospel to those who are spiritually dead, than to wait until the father dies and then bury him.

Application

What are the highest priorities in my life? How much time do I spend on physical things in comparison to caring for those who are spiritually dead?

 

Matthew 8:18-27 (English Standard Version)

Now when Jesus saw a crowd around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side. And a scribe came up and said to him, "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 the disciples said to him, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father." And Jesus said to him, "Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead." And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, "Save us, Lord; we are perishing." And he said to them, "Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?" Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, "What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?"

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