Through the Bible in One Year

Day 93

Luke 9:57-62

Truly Following Jesus

As they were traveling on the road someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”

Jesus told him, “Foxes have dens, and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” Then he said to another, “Follow me.”

“Lord,” he said, “first let me go bury my father.”

But he told him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and spread the news of the kingdom of God.”

Another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me go and say good-bye to those at my house.”

But Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” (CSB)

In this passage we encounter three would be followers/disciples of Jesus.  And the reason they are would be followers/disciples is because all three of these men said they wanted to follow Jesus at first, but when it came time to put their money where their mouths were they backed out, and that is what we are going to spend the rest of our time today looking at.

As they were traveling on the road someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”

Jesus told him, “Foxes have dens, and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”—Luke 9:57-58 (CSB)

Jesus here warned this first would follower to count the cost before committing to follow him.  After all, even Jesus himself “had no place” to call home.  Which means that to follow Christ we have to loosen our grip on the things that normally provide physical and emotional security.

Then he said to another, “Follow me.”

“Lord,” he said, “first let me go bury my father.”

But he told him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and spread the news of the kingdom of God.”—Luke 9:59-60 (CSB)

It is doubtful that this man’s “father” had already died.  If he had, the man would have been involved in burial rites rather than talking to Jesus.  Thus, the man’s words were an excuse to delay, possibly for years, his responsibility to follow Jesus and to “spread the news of the kingdom of God.”

Another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me go and say good-bye to those at my house.”

But Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”—Luke 9:61-62 (CSB)

In Luke 14:26, Jesus makes it clear that he must be the top priority in a disciple’s life, even above family.  The phrase here “puts his hand to the plow and looks back” means looking over one’s shoulder while plowing, making it impossible to plow a straight furrow.  As Christians we cannot follow Christ by looking back.  We must focus on serving him as we move ahead at his command.

Tomorrow’s Bible Readings:

Deuteronomy 23-25, Luke 10:13-37, Psalm 75:1-10 and Proverbs 12:12-14

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