"When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, 'Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.' Jesus replied, 'Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.' Another disciple said to him, 'Lord, first let me go and bury my father.' But Jesus told him, 'Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.'" Matthew 8:18-22
Too many times, people believe that surrendering to Jesus means that life will become more comfortable or more convenient. Too many people believe that surrendering to Jesus means there are no costs. However, Scripture shows us quite the opposite. Even though there are quite a few examples of those who immediately left everything and everyone to follow Jesus, there are many other examples of those who chose not to follow Jesus because they wanted to hold on to their comforts and earthly affections and conveniences instead. In Matthew 8, Jesus warned those who had not yet counted the costs of discipleship. The teacher of the law needed to know the truth. Jesus told him that there would be times when they would have nowhere to stay, nowhere to rest...no comfortable beds or comfortable pillows. Would he still follow Jesus without these comforts? Another disciple wanted to leave to bury his father. He was still placing his earthly affections toward people above his affections for Jesus. Would he still follow Jesus and deny his earthly affections, even for family? Jesus reminded these individuals, and others throughout His earthly life, that following Him would not always be comfortable or convenient. He reminded them that He wanted all of their attention and affection. Jesus isn't teaching us to ignore our responsibilities in life. He isn't teaching us not to love others. Jesus is teaching us that He is worthy of our undivided attention and affection. He is teaching us that we must be willing to leave behind comforts and conveniences to follow Him. We must be willing to place Jesus first in our lives...to love Him with all our heart, all our mind, all of our strength, and all our soul. True surrender to Jesus is to deny self, take up the cross daily, and follow Him. Saying "yes" to Jesus leads to complete surrender to Jesus. And surrendering to Jesus leads to life...full life...eternal life...a life worth living!