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Gene’s Daily Scriptural Postings

Reflective Bible Study

The Call For Us All: Matthew 8:18-22

Focus Passage: Matthew 8:18-22 (GNT)

A theme among many of these passages is that as I read each segment while preparing these journal articles, I am amazed at what is said, and what is not said. My brain likes to fill in and assume some of the missing details, but in reality, the opposite could have happened.

This passage is a clear example of one where my brain has filled in details that are not present. Other places and invitations Jesus gives say that the invitee goes away sorrowfully or chooses to leave instead – but this passage is clearly silent on this. It is an assumption to think that the man left to bury his father just as it is an assumption to think that he seized the opportunity and followed Jesus. After verse 22, Matthew switches gears and the disciples leave the area in a boat with Jesus.

Why would Matthew have not included a few words to indicate the man’s choice? It could have been as simple as “He joined.” or “He left.”

Let’s look again at details included in the passage – perhaps Matthew does give an answer.

Verse 21 gives us a solid clue, because it clearly says that the one asking Jesus was one of His disciples.

Now think with me for a minute: Would Jesus say “Follow Me” to someone who was already currently a disciple? Maybe, because we do see Him say this a second time to Peter following His resurrection (John 21:19) but I am inclined to believe that Matthew tips us off to this being the call of a less prominent disciple. It would be interesting to know which disciple asked the question, but perhaps the point in this passage is not teaching us about one individual’s call, but instead about a call to follow that we all receive.

We are all called to follow Jesus, and while I don’t think Jesus wanted to insult the memory of the disciple’s father, I believe He wanted to shift our focus onto the things that really matter – specifically towards the future life for those who believe in Him.

This thought was inspired by studying the Walking With Jesus “Reflective Bible Study” package. To discover insights like this in your own study time, click here and give Reflective Bible Study a try today!

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