"Put Your Boots On..."

Perhaps it is because I am a bit of a "scribe" myself, but Jesus' message to one would-be follower (Matthew 8:19-20) has haunted me for several days now. You would expect a little more enthusiastic answer from Jesus to someone who just told him, "Teacher, I will follower you wherever you go!"

Instead, Jesus tells him that "foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head"  What is going on?

The story this little scene is a part of gives us a hint. Jesus had just come from deliverying a foundational message (the long "Sermon on the Mount"), and like many public speaking engagements, his message was followed by crowds of people wanting to talk, needing help, offering "opportunities." From Jesus' comments after one of these encounters (8:11-12), we know that Jesus was already anticipating Israel's rejection of his message and reign. This long day of speaking, healing and care was then followed by a long night: "That evening they brought to him many who were oppressed by demons, and he cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick" (8:16).

So, in simple, practical terms, Jesus was just being honest: the work of following Jesus is demanding. It means saying yes (not in a compulsive, abusive way) to the people around you. It means carrying worries and stepping into difficult issues. It can sometimes mean very long hours. It is not an easy life.

While some people many have been looking for a glorious, fairy-tale King to return, by his life, Jesus demonstrates what it really means for "one like a son of man" to take dominion (Daniel 7:13-14). 

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