In The Graveyard
Read Matthew Chapter 8
Mt 8:18 When Jesus saw the crowd around Him, He gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. 19 Then a teacher of the law came to Him and said, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.” 20 Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.” 21 Another disciple said to Him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” 22 But Jesus told him, “Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”
Jesus said two things in this passage which are worthy of some deeper thought. Let’s explore them. When the teacher of the law stated, “I will follow You wherever You go,” Jesus replied, “the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.” Did He mean that He had no home? What about the home in which He resided before beginning His ministry? Does that mean that Mary and His brothers had kicked Him out of the house? I doubt it. Did it mean that He had no plans to return to the safety of that previous home? Possibly, but we can be certain that there was more to it than that. When Jesus spoke, His meaning always went far beyond the simplicity of His words.
This world is not our home. We are temporary residents in a troubled and vastly changing world (for the worse). No matter where we reside, we will not be there forever. Further, we do not know from one day to the other whether our home will still be there when we return there at the end of the day. Things can happen. Another thought is, that every night of Jesus’ life He slept somewhere, except for those nights that He stayed up praying all night. Perhaps Jesus’ deeper meaning is that we are not meant to get comfortable in this life. We have an eternal home where we can finally reside in peace. This life wasn’t meant to be an end unto itself. Following Jesus means that we will be always working toward that final destination in eternity. We do not follow Jesus in order to obtain comfortable lives.
Another man said to Him, “Let me go bury my father.” He was concerned over an elderly father. One of the ideas that Jesus conveyed in His answer was that nothing else matters when a man seeks Christ. When we come to Jesus, there can only be one priority – that is, following Jesus. His will and purpose for our lives must always be our number one priority. When we come to Him, we are effectively saying, “I will do whatever You wish and all other concerns are secondary.
That is a good lesson for the SSA man and woman. What are our priorities? What are some things that we have a tendency to place ahead of Christ? The first obvious answer relates to the man who walks away from Christ refusing to consider giving up the gay life for Him. For most SSA men and women, the desire for same-sex sexual action is the most important aspect of life. You and I have seen that displayed by many of our friends, and at times that has been our own way of thinking. The number of men who have rejected Christ for that reason would likely astound us.
What about those of us who have been willing to forgo any “rights” to our sexual preferences? When we misstep in the area of SSA, what is the hidden message? Simple – “At this moment, Lord, there is something which I desire more than You.” Ouch! That hurts! That is exactly what I have done, more times than I would like to think about. As we studied a few weeks ago, Christ is our only reason for living. Nothing else matters, especially any desire we have which involves sin.
There is something else can we glean from Jesus’ reply – “Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead.” At the time Jesus said that, the man’s father was not yet dead. Was he spiritually dead and Jesus knew that he would not turn to Him during his life? That would be my guess, but never mind the man’s father; I get another image that makes me shudder. As we think about the gay world and the death and destruction which will ultimately overtake and consume them, those ARE the dead! We have no place among them. Most of them will never come to Christ and submit their lives to Him.
No matter how much we love some of them, and pray and weep over their situation, most of them will never turn their lives around. “Let the dead bury their own dead.” That is exactly what will happen. We cannot abandon our lives with Christ in order to sympathize with them. We cannot compromise our situation just to make them feel better about themselves. We cannot pretend that they are okay with God. That accomplishes nothing of value. However, when we come to Christ, He very well may assign us the responsibility of speaking to that community. But first, we must come out from them, and wait for our assignment. Only He knows whether any of the gay community will be receptive to His message.
Prayer: O Lord, how much longer must we grieve over our friends who are lost and dying? We cannot bear the load of concern over their situation. Once again, we ask You to speak to their hearts and draw to You any who might respond. Indeed, the dead will bury the dead, but that thought is just too much for our minds. Also once again, we ask that You prevent us from going back into that world of dead men.