282 CHAPTER 20
284"PEACE, BE STILL"
284INCIDENTS PRELIMINARY TO THE VOYAGE
284Near the close of the day on which Jesus had taught the multitudes for the first time by
parables, He said to the disciples, "Let us pass over unto the other side."
The destination so
indicated is the east side of the sea of Galilee. While the boat was being made ready, a certain
scribe came to Jesus and said: "Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest." Prior to that
time, few men belonging to the titled or ruling class had offered to openly ally themselves with
Jesus. Had the Master been mindful of policy and desirous of securing official recognition, this
opportunity to attach to Himself as influential a person as a scribe would have received careful
consideration if not immediate acceptance; but He, who could read the minds and know the
hearts of men, chose rather than accepted. He had called men who were to be thenceforth His
own, from their fishing boats and nets, and had numbered one of the ostracized publicans among
the Twelve; but He knew them, every one, and chose accordingly. The gospel was offered freely
to all; but authority to officiate as a minister thereof was not to be had for the asking; for that
sacred labor, one must be called of God.
284In this instance, Christ knew the character of the man, and, without wounding his feelings by
curt rejection, pointed out the sacrifice required of one who would follow whithersoever the Lord
went, saying: "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath
not where to lay his head." As Jesus had no fixed place of abode, but went wherever His duty
called Him, so was it necessary that they who represented Him, men ordained or set apart to His
service, be ready to deny themselves the enjoyment of their homes and the comfort of family
associations, if the duties of their calling so demanded. We do not read that the aspiring scribe
pressed his offer.
284Another man indicated his willingness to follow the Lord, but asked first for time to go and
bury his father; to him Jesus said: "Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead." Some readers
have felt that this injunction was harsh, though such an inference is scarcely justified. While it
would be manifestly unfilial for a son to absent himself from his father's funeral under ordinary
conditions, nevertheless, if that son had been set apart to service of importance transcending all
personal or family obligations, his ministerial duty would of right take precedence. Moreover,
the requirement expressed by Jesus was no greater than that made of every priest during his term
of active service, nor was it more afflicting than the obligation of the Nazarite vow,
which many voluntarily placed themselves. The duties of ministry in the kingdom pertained to
spiritual life; one dedicated thereto might well allow those who were negligent of spiritual
things, and figuratively speaking, spiritually dead, to bury their dead.
284A third instance is presented; a man who wanted to be a disciple of the Lord asked that,