Zoom Bible Study for 16th February 2021

Matthew 8 verses 18-22 Jesus teaches about the cost of following Him

Chosen by me (Carol) because when I first started to read the Bible and for a long time I found this passage difficult to understand. Coming from my secular life and a career in project management which included assessing the cost/benefits of doing a piece of work, it seemed strange to me that Jesus would be saying we have to weigh up the cost of following Him, when surely there isn’t an alternative.  

Another side of my job was developing my team and that required setting out roles and responsibilities; their job description,  in order to carry out appraisals. How can anybody be good at their job if no one has told them what is expected of them!! In the Bible Jesus makes it very clear what our ‘job description’ as Christians is and here we see Jesus pointing out that to follow Him is no easy task.

To start with the context:  Jesus was again surrounded by a crowd – why was that, what made the people follow him?  He gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake, would everyone follow Him?

We read of two people that were happy to follow Jesus to the other side of the lake but were either of them suitable to be followers of Jesus? These 2 people were very different to each other;

The first was very eager and said ‘Teacher I will follow you wherever you go’.

  1. This man was a scholar, studied law, a type that were generally found to be of good character. Why did he want to follow Jesus what did he hope to learn?
  2. In verse 20 what was Jesus explaining about himself, how did He differ from other teachers of that time?
  3. Why did Jesus respond like He did, was He being harsh or kind when He replied?
  4. Was it right for the man to tell Jesus he would follow him?


In verse 21 it says ‘Another disciple’ so the second man may have already been following Jesus but in beginning to understand the cost of following Him wanted to delay continuing on any further with Jesus.

  1. What did Jesus mean in verse 22 ‘Let the dead bury their own dead’?
  2. Read Luke 14 v 25:35 We count the cost in order to understand what is involved, what are the requirements. We have seen that the Beatitudes in Matthew 5 are a warning of the costs of following Jesus. Matthew 10 17:23 tells of Jesus warning the disciples. What is the impact and consequence of not counting the cost?
  3. Without counting the cost of following Jesus which of the 4 soils category would the 2 men fall in to?
  4. What do we need to learn from this passage?   Have we committed to following Jesus, have we counted the cost? Which of the 4 soils are you?  Read 2 Peter 2 v20-22.


I believe those that have been called to follow Jesus need to count the cost in order to follow Him as He intended us to do. Although the life of a disciple is a difficult one, God doesn’t expect us to live without Him in our lives. He leads us and walks with us every step of the way.

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