“Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
One winter a fox decided to make its den underneath the chapel at bible camp. It was discovered at a spring work bee to start getting the camp ready for the summer camping season. The fox was not spotted nor heard. Rather, a few people who had gone to dust the chapel smelled it. If you’ve never had the pleasure of smelling a fox’s den, count yourself lucky. Words cannot do justice to the foul stench that abides there.
Needless to say, foxes’ dens have little to attract human interest. For that matter, from a human standpoint, a birds’ nest is pretty rudimentary lodging too. But our Savior eschewed even these creature comforts during his preaching ministry.
We’ve noticed that Jesus was not one to play to a crowd to get attention. Here he seems to be actively dissuading people from following Him. Is it that He secretly doesn’t want followers? That seems too conflicted for the Man from Nazareth who asked twelve guys to travel with Him. So what’s going on here?
Matthew includes this here because we need to broaden our horizons when it comes to who Jesus is and what that means for us. The idea of the coming of the Messiah in Matthew’s day was one of victory, independence and material blessing. Matthew is painting a very different picture. Following Jesus can mean not finding a roof over your head some nights, it can mean missing significant family milestones; it means a commitment to a mission that supersedes many of our own preferred ways of life.
Christianity, that is the following of Jesus, is hard. It involves sacrifice and the subjection of our own will to that of an all-knowing and all-loving God.
Not everyone who calls themselves will find themselves roughing it in Jesus’ name. For some, showing up to a family funeral will be following in the footsteps of Christ very precisely, an opportunity to witness to the hope you have found in Him.
I cannot tell you what following Jesus will cost you. But cost you it will.
Lord, prepare me for Your service.