The Holy Gospel according to John (13:16-20)
When Jesus saw a crowd around Him, He gave orders to cross to the other shore. A scribe approached and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.” Another of His disciples said to him, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.” But Jesus answered him, “Follow me,
and let the dead bury their dead.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
In Jesus’ time, it was customary for a would-be disciple to pick the rabbi who would become his mentor/teacher. He would scout a “master” much the same way an aspiring student today picks a college, studying his options and picking the rabbi he felt would best equip him for future success.
The scribe that approached Jesus was a teacher of the law – a super-elite scholar, who declared his intent to choose Jesus as his rabbi/mentor. Jesus should have been thrilled, in the eyes of the world to have such a follower.
Instead of welcoming the star disciple into his fold, Jesus redefined discipleship for him. There would be no prestige or perks waiting for him as a follower of Jesus. Rather, he would have to give up his place of honor among the religious establishment. He’d be expected to endure sacrifice, hardship, and a deliberate abandonment of the demand for basic human necessities such as home and hearth. It was going to be all or nothing—just the way Jesus lived it and also the way he intended it to be.
St. Matthew doesn’t tell us if the scribe changed his mind about following Christ. So, until we know otherwise, I like to believe this man meant it when he said to Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go”—even when it meant humbling himself and abandoning all the comforts and prestige he’d known before.
Action of the Day
How many times do we put our own agenda before God’s? What holds us back from following Jesus wholeheartedly? It is easy to make a list of all of the things that we need to do. Do we put prayer on the top of the list?
Spend 15-30 minutes in prayer today. Whatever you do and however you pray, take some time to listen to God’s call. To what is God calling you? As you spend some time in prayer, ask for the grace to respond to God’s call wholeheartedly and unreservedly.