Monday, October 3, 2011
Last Tuesday, Typhoon Pedring hit our country, bringing death and destruction in its wake. And the question comes up the most is, "why does a loving God allow such storms to come upon people?" Do storms have some sort of redeeming value?
What Jesus does to crowds (Matthew 8:18–22)
Here, Jesus sees the crowds following Him. Instead of staying with them and ministering to them, Jesus "gave orders to go over to the other side." Now, this "other side" is "the country of the Gadarenes" (8:28) which is part of the Decapolis — Gentile country. This may have unnerved some of those following Him. But because of His growing popularity, many still followed. A scribe even came up and said that he will follow Jesus wherever He goes. But Jesus challenged him in his statement, saying that He does not have a permanent place to stay in, a place to call home. Presumably, the scribe was discouraged, for we no longer hear about him. Another asked for permission to first bury his father before following Him. Jesus saw the weakness of the man's commitment, for family ties still hold him. The man's request to "bury my father" is a euphemism for waiting until the father is dead before following Jesus. So Jesus challenged him in this, calling him to follow Him and leave such matters to others.
Why does Jesus do this? Does He not appreciate the fact that many follow Him? Of course. What Jesus wants is for all people to follow Him. But Jesus is not interested in half-baked commitment. Much as He wanted all to follow Him, He is not one to hide the cost of such discipleship. Jesus goes to places where we might not even dare go to. Jesus would forego comforts and security to fulfill what He set out to do. Would the crowds still follow Him? Would we?