Faith Daily | 27 June 2022
PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p 556
who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son
to suffer death upon a cross,
and by his glorious resurrection
delivered us from the power of the enemy:
grant us so to die daily to sin
that we may evermore live with him
in the joy of his resurrection;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 8: 18-22
18 Now when Jesus saw great crowds around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side. 19A scribe then approached and said, ‘Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.’ 20And Jesus said to him, ‘Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.’ 21Another of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, first let me go and bury my father.’ 22But Jesus said to him, ‘Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.’
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Penny Graham
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 & picking the Rabbi he felt would best equip him for future success.
In this kind of environment, some potential disciples were inherently more prestigious than others. eg a lowly uneducated fisherman would rank near the bottom of a Rabbi’s wish list. A scribe on the other hand would have been a prized recruit for just about any Rabbi.
We assume today that upon hearing Jesus’ response, this teacher of the law changed his mind about following Jesus. It’s certainly possible that this true, but Matthew doesn’t tell the final outcome of this encounter. So, until we know otherwise, I would like to believe that this man meant it when he said to Jesus,’ I will follow you where ever you go’ -even when it meant humbling himself & abandoning all the comforts and prestige he’d known before.
Jesus should have been “thrilled” by this man’s decision. A teacher of the law would have been a prestigious addition to Jesus’ team of disciples, everyone knew that. Perhaps even this particular teacher of the law knew it. Maybe he thought he was doing Jesus a favour by joining Jesus’ followers, We can’t be sure. But, we do know that he liked the idea( maybe it was reciprocal prestige) of being associated with the immensely popular Jesus of Nazareth.
Jesus response to landing this prized recruit was unexpected. ‘The Son of Man has no place to lay his head’ he said. It appears he was actually trying to talk the man out of making his decision.
FINAL PRAYER Jim Cotter “Unfolding the Living Word”
Determined Presence of tough and enduring love,
whose stern care for our greatest good
warns us of the siren songs of worldly security,
strengthen us to follow your way alone,
and to trust that the loss of goods or honour or life itself
can never separate us from your presence.
We pray this after the pattern of Jesus
and in the power of the Spirit.