Matthew 8--“Follow Me”

“But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.”

In this short verse, Jesus spoke a multitude of thoughts. In the verse immediately before this one, we are told of a man that asked the Lord to wait for him while he went and buried his dead father. Now it seems rather important that one should attend to these family matters, but Jesus was teaching him something very important here, and that is that we need to “Seek first the kingdom of Heaven and His righteousness…” and set priorities in our lives. We do not know all the details involved here, whether the man was sincere, or making an excuse not to go with Jesus, but Jesus no doubt knew. This verse had a great significance for me at one time in my life. It taught me to let this world go, to leave it to the lost who struggle to run things according to their own feelings, and for me to spend my time and my life working toward the glorifying of the Lord, and His kingdom. I took it very literally, and let the dead worry about their world, while I attempt to concentrate my time on the things of the Lord, and Life.

Folks, we often claim that this is not our home, and that we are strangers and pilgrims, “just passing through’ but we do not live like we are! We like to say those things, and they are scriptural, but we find it hard to live it. If I were to come into your home and begin running things my way, you would greatly resent it, wouldn’t you? That is exactly what we do here on this earth, we try to run the house, when we are only visitors! We need to get hold of this thought! Either this is our world, or it is not, there is no middle of the road. What about our hobbies? Or our interests, are they modeled after this world’s views, or after the glory of the Lord? We get too wrapped up in the affairs and entertainments of this world, and many times, try to “squeeze” it into the church, hoping then that it will be endorsed by God.

I took a sort of survey at one of our ballgames, one time, asking “Why do you play softball?” The answers were varied, of course, but very informative. Some did it for exercise; some for a “ministry”; some for the pure fun of it; and others for the excitement of it. Those were the four main answers, but I asked them after these answers, “If the umpire makes a bad call, did you still have fun, or exercise, or whatever your reason was for playing?” The point is, when a bad call was made, tempers flared, and attitudes were shameful. Even the sportsmanship was modeled after the world! This is just an example, and I mean not to implicate anyone, but we need to do “whatsoever we do” to the glory of God. (Col. 3:17 and 21).

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