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.”
(Matthew 8:21, 22 ESV)
This verse bothered me for a while when I first read it. How could Jesus be so insensitive, that he would suggest that a man skip his own Father’s funeral? Take time to read the rest of the Chapter and there are a number of people who want to follow Jesus, part time. Jesus is trying to show them a new way of looking at the world, and what that means as a follower of Jesus.
Most of us have our lives in boxes. The work box, the family box, the hobby box, and the boxes do not touch one another. Faith is often one of those boxes. When you wake up to go to church you open the God box and away you go, praying, reading scripture and using churchy, spiritual language. Then you leave church and when you arrive back at work the God talk, praying and faith stuff goes back into it’s box until it is needed again.
Jesus instructions to this man are to rethink how you see the world. This man essentially said to Jesus let me tidy up my family box, the I can think about the God box. Jesus reply to Him is that there is no God box. It is not meant to be a box, but instead be a worldview and perspective that guides the rest of your life. Don’t follow me later, follow me now as you work on the family box, or the work box. Jesus has little interest in part-time followers who can open the God box at the appropriate time. Jesus wants our faith to guide and shape all the other parts of our life, and not be kept in a box, or used only in limited manners. This does not mean you have to go preach to your co-workers, but instead your faith should influence and guide all that you do, especially when you are not at church.
1. Do you feel that your faith is a segregated part of your life? If so, what impact does that have at work, or with family and friends?
2. What might it look like to be a full-time follower of Christ? What area of your life would look the most different?