If any of these questions strike you, you’d do well to read on.
When we turn to Matthew’s Gospel, we see the same pattern we saw in Mark’s Gospel as to Jesus’ use of the phrase “the Human One.” That is, the overwhelming majority of the thirty-one references reflect one of two thoughts, namely Jesus’ (1) powerful position and status or (2) his great suffering. The following text is one from the latter category.
A legal expert came and said to him, “Teacher, I’ll follow you wherever you go.”
Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens, and the birds in the sky have nests, but the Human One has no place to lay his head.” (Matthew 8:19-20 CEB)
I don’t know how many times I’ve said to my Lord the same thing this legal expert said to Jesus here, “I’ll follow you wherever you go.” The only real difference is that this man referred to Jesus as “Teacher” and I refer to Jesus as my “Lord.” To be sure, there’s a great difference between the two, but the words are the same nonetheless: “I’ll follow you wherever you go.”
Now how do you suppose Jesus responds to such a statement? I know how I’d respond to someone who said such to me about the Lord and who was looking for a church home! I’d say, “Come on down! What are you waiting for? You’re just the sort of person I’ve been looking for all along!”
Which is anything but how Jesus responded, no? Jesus’ response is something close to, “Really, do you now? Do you have a clue what you’re committing yourself to when you say such? Do you think you’ll have it better than me? Look at me, count the cost, and then get back with me, if you dare.”
I wonder how the man responded? Gulp!
Now I thought I knew what I was talking about and what I meant most of the time when I’ve said such words myself to my Lord. But you know what? He’s proven me wrong time and again as he wound up leading me places in life I never dreamed of experiencing. And why did he do that? I suspect for the same reason he looked the legal expert in the eye and said what he did to him. You see, since he is the Human One, he knows the rest of us human ones better than we know ourselves. Further, he loves us too much to leave us thoughtless and unchallenged. The Human One is, if anything, committed, and he does not suffer cheap, shallow-commitment on our part well.
Holy Father, in the name of Jesus I commit my life to your Son, Jesus. He will be my Lord today and all of my days. May I keep this word to you, Father, for Jesus’ sake, no matter what it costs me. Don’t lead me into temptation, but deliver me from the evil one. Amen.
Question: if following Jesus meant becoming homeless like Jesus, would you still follow Jesus?