Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”Matthew 8:19-20 NIV
Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
At first glance this passage seems kind of strange; what do birds and foxes have to do with following Jesus. But what Jesus is doing here is making sure that this scribe is aware of what it means to follow Jesus, to first count the cost. Unlike the foxes and the birds that have a home, Jesus did not, and to follow him would result in homelessness. So in essence he is asking the scribe if he was willing to be homeless with Jesus.
While we no longer have the option of physically accompanying Jesus on his travels through Israel, I do believe that the principle still applies here. Jesus does not just call on us to accept him as our Savior, freeing us from the penalty of our sins. He also calls on us to take him as our Lord, following him wherever he would lead. But how often in our presentation of the gospel to people do we emphasize the former and neglect the latter. Salvation in not a fire insurance policy; it is a call to leave behind the old life and take up the new life he created us for. We would do well to make sure that people who are considering following Jesus are aware of the cost of discipleship.