Make a Real Commitment

Make a Real Commitment
Follow Jesus
Quick Promises vs. Lasting Commitment

Here’s a quick answer about your commitment to follow Jesus and do the right thing.  Oftentimes, a commitment or promise made to Jesus is like those new year’s resolutions that are quickly spoken and quickly forgotten.

The truth is that many of our decisions are made too quick.   Many decisions are premature and without thinking through the ramifications.  That’s the situation found in Matthew 8:19 where a man says to Jesus, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”  If someone said that to us, we might be flattered and excited.  But, Jesus is able to see into the heart.  And to his quick response, Jesus replies just as quick, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” 

This is a surprising response.  Instead of accepting his commitment, Jesus actually pushes him away as he speaks of foxes and birds and how they have security and comfort and a place to sleep at night.  But, these are all the things that Jesus himself did not consistently have.

Now, Jesus is not against home ownership or creaturely comforts.  But, he does lay down the difficulty of true discipleship.  And this does not mean that following Jesus is always going to be hard.  But that it is highly possible that the health, wealth, and prosperity that we all would like to have is not a guarantee.

So, Jesus looks into his heart and finds a genuine desire for commitment. But, he also sees a premature commitment that has not counted the cost.  For, there will be times when foxes and birds will clearly have more earthly blessings than those who follow Jesus.

But to those who understand and counted the cost, there is a deep conviction that the commitment to follow Jesus far outweighs the things that the world can bring.

Now, apart from this discussion of material comforts and discipleship, there is also a very important message here about making your commitment sure and lasting.  Think about all the promises you made to God and all the promises you broke.  A sincere commitment is one thing, but a lasting conviction to carry it out is quite another.

Back to Matthew 8:19, I wonder what happened to that man!  The Bible does not tell us.  I wonder if he walked away or took up the challenge.  I guess we will never know.  And that in itself is striking.  It’s striking that the end of the story is not given.  Certainly the conclusion could have been given, but it is deliberately left out as if to tell us that this is not really a story at all.  That this is more of a spiritual lesson to be learned and not a story to read.

In our lives, some decisions are just too quick.  Anyone can raise a hand or walk to the altar and shout a few words.  Let’s confirm today that Jesus does not want a quick response, He wants a lasting commitment.




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