Now the narrative changes, and we begin to read of some of our Lord’s dealings with those who would fain have been His disciples.  Apparently to gain some relief from the ceaseless pressing of the multitudes, Jesus departed to the other side of the lake.  There He met a certain scribe, who had been impressed by Christ’s ministry, and proclaimed himself willing to follow the Lord whithersoever He went.  Most religious leaders are willing to gain followers from any quarter.  They will compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and if that proselyte professes himself willing to follow them, he is accepted, no questions asked.  But the Lord Jesus is different.  He receives only disciples who are totally dedicated to Him, and will serve no other master.  They must be willing to forsake all, even their nearest and dearest relations, yea, even their own lives, in order to serve Him.  Jesus puts that challenge to this scribe by referring to His personal poverty.  He has no place where to lay His head, but goes about to towns and villages, entirely dependent upon the generosity of His friends.  The intimation here is very plain: Are you willing to suffer poverty and deprivation to follow Me?  We do not read of how this scribe responded.  We do know that it is our obligation to follow Christ in whatsoever way He calls us, and to be willing to suffer the loss of all things that we may win Him, and be found in Him, not having our own righteousness, but the righteousness which is of God by faith.

The same lesson is to be drawn from the following incident.  This man seems willing to follow Christ, but at the same time he wants to tend to his family affairs.  Let it be noticed that there is nothing necessarily incompatible between serving Christ and caring for our family.  In fact, in many cases the very best service we do to our Lord is within the bosom of our earthly family.  But it would appear that this man was making an excuse for not following Christ forthwith.  He was not willing to take up His cross immediately.  Jesus tells Him to let the world tend to its worldly affairs.  And, in Luke He adds, “But go thou and preach the kingdom of God.”  As in the former case, we do not know if this man accepted the admonition or not.  We do know that it is imperative for us to follow Christ without hesitation, obeying His every command.

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