When we think about Jesus, we tend to think in terms of images we have seen in movies or classical artwork, not the image on the front of today’s bulletin. What is so difficult to consider is that Jesus stepped out of the mainstream of Jewish society and spoke from the margins. In a very real way he was able to say and do many things he couldn’t otherwise because of his marginal location in that society.
18 When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. 19 Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”20 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”21 Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”22 But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.” Matthew 8:18-22
1) Jesus trying to ditch the crowds…again!
2) Teacher of the law was a respected position in society. Served as local judges in outlying regions.
3) Jesus did not have a home, and this was a strategic decision on his part. (Play Rich Mullins’ You did not have a home.)
4) Simplicity means not being owned by the things/obligations of this world.
5) We repeat the phrase that we have been bought by a price, and then return to the old masters.
6) We fear the margins, but Jesus shows us that a church that is operating on the margins of society is being faithful.
7) The obligations towards family can come to distract us as well.
8) Following Jesus means making decisions that could marginalize us within our society, family and circles of friends, and Jesus is challenging us.
9) Take stock regularly and do an audit of time, money, and obligations. Think hard about what those say our priorities are.
10) Simplicity is not about stuff, it is about focus. Are the things/people/obligations in my life helping me focus on God’s call or are they distractions?