A scribe was not easy to categorize. He
loved learning, adored being taught and esteemed law. He admired the
systems of law that underpinned the universe and society and his nation.
He may have been a secretary or a teacher but if he was a teacher he was not expected to receive money for his teaching. He probably had a trade as well.
One day when Jesus was just about to push off across the lake, a scribe said to him, ‘Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.’
My guess is that the fishermen, Simon, Peter, Andrew and the sons of Zebedee, who were very practical, down-to-earth people, looked on with horror. Or maybe amusement. If this scholar teamed up with then, what on earth would they do with him? He was a man of words and ideas and what use was such a person in their outfit?
They had to deal with practicalities like getting across a lake safely, fishing for their meals, riding out storms, fixing boats, dealing with crowds, coping with physical hardships.
So they were relieved when Jesus looked the man up and down and replied something like this: I don’t have an office with a computer, or a lecture hall, or a fellowship centre, or even a coffee-shop drop-in. I don’t have a motel or a caravan or even an address. Do you understand what you are saying?
But the scribe had also heard Jesus say on the mountainside, ‘you are light for all the world. When a lamp is lit it gives light to everyone in the house. Like a lamp, you must shed light among your fellows, so that, where they see the good you do, they may give praise to your Father in heaven.’
We do not know whether the scribe followed Jesus or not, or even whether he followed afar off. We do not know where he invested. We know only that he was a man with a talent. The story is unfinished. Perhaps it is really asking, ‘What is your talent? Where have you invested it?’
"Then a certain scribe came and said to Him, 'Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.' And Jesus said to him, 'Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.'" (Matthew 8:19,20 NKJV)