Text: Matthew 8:18-22
The companion passage to these verses is in Luke 9:57-62.
Discipleship is separation from the world and unto the Lord (vs 18)
- The Lord separates himself from the crowds to rest, pray, or spend private time with his disciples. Not that he didn’t love the people, but he could not accomplish certain things while surrounded by the multitudes.
- Matthew records two men who want to get in the boat with him. Considering the crowd following him there may have been several who wanted to get in the boat as well, but Matthew points out two in particular.
- Just as the Lord is separating from the crowd these men who want to follow are going to have to separate themselves if they’re going to follow him.
- If Jesus Christ were physically here then these verses become very easy to explain. The Lord would say let’s get in the boat and go to the other side. Some zealous soul might say, I want to go with you. To which the Lord Jesus Christ would say, I don’t have a place to stay where I’m going. And it would be obvious to you and everyone else whether they followed the Lord or not. Peter, Andrew, James, John dropped their fishing business and followed once they knew who the Lord Jesus Christ was. At that point in their lives the only reasonable next step to take was to follow the Lord Jesus Christ wherever he goes. When Matthew finds out Jesus is the Christ, he leaves his government job and follows the Lord.
- Following the Lord means his priorities become your priorities
- It meant that wherever Jesus was going, that was where they were going. And the Lord’s business was now their business. They no longer had priorities of their own. Peter, Andrew, James, John left their commercial fishing jobs, they left their business, and the steps of the Lord Jesus Christ became their steps.
- Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
- Now, for those that leave their priorities and follow Jesus, does that mean they’re never going to sin again? No. Does that mean they’re going to have perfect faith now and never doubt? No.
- Following Jesus Christ would be a defining moment in their lives where their lives are no longer their own.
- These men are called disciples in verse 21. We assume they left, but there is perhaps more reason to believe they followed since Matthew calls them disciples.
Disciples’ home is with the Lord
- Abraham told to leave his home. Hebrews 11:8-10
- Jesus Christ left his home in heaven.
- Scribe maybe thinks following Jesus is an academic pursuit, or an intellectual pursuit. If that’s the case then he’s not any different than many independent baptists who think a person is spiritual if they can recite Kingdom of heaven and Kingdom of God. Or if they say the rapture is before the tribulation then their obviously saved. Or if you can find four gospels or seven dispensations then obviously your following Jesus. But following Jesus Christ is not academic.
- Mark 10:28-30 Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee. 29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, 30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.
- Colossians 3:1-5 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. 5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
Disciples’ most important relationship is with the Lord
- His temptation is not to sin wickedly.
- Luke 14:26-27, 33 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. … 33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
- He’s not talking about going to a funeral. He’s talking about getting the inheritance and prioritizing his dad over the Lord.
- …dead bury their dead…
- Dead is defined in 1 Timothy 5:6, But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth. Living in pleasure is how God defines dead; that is walking according to what pleases the flesh. You say what’s so bad about living in pleasure? Because you will never satisfy the flesh. After giving it what it wants now. It will want more later.
- Consider the example of Moses who clearly made a choice to live by faith instead of live in pleasure. By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward, (Hebrews 11:24-26). Moses was making a choice, his will is fully engaged, to ignore the pleasures of sin in order to faithfully follow God.
- See it again with James, Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter (James 5:5). Death – slaughter – is associated with living in pleasure. So when God says dead He means someone is being fattened up for the slaughter. They are feasting because they are condemned.
- Dead is also defined by God as being carnally minded. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace (Romans 8:6).
- Paul’s description of following spiritually. Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rewards for following
- The Lord is my shepherd… he leadeth me. But the Lord is not my shepherd if I’m not following.
- Spiritually following the Lord since he isn’t physically here – John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
- 2 Timothy 2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
- And Romans 8:13-17