Lord, may I have a sense of expectancy of what You will do with this day.
Read Luke 9:57–62
The Cost of Following Jesus
57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
59 He said to another man, “Follow me.”
But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
61 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”
62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectJesus wants us to count the cost, to assess the impact, before following him.
The celebrated theologian J. I. Packer once described the malaise of western Christianity in a book called Hot Tub Religion. It’s a collection of essays about the dangers of a faith that is cozy, comfy, and cheap. Jesus won’t have any of it. In a series of staccato encounters, Jesus stresses the priority of being a disciple. And the encounters leave us feeling uncomfortable.
The first conversation represents faith as idealism, and Jesus is quick to disabuse the enquirer’s romantic viewpoint. Discipleship is not a wistful pursuit; it’s for realists who know what they are getting into. Jesus is homeless, and his followers should expect the same.
The second conversation involves the obligation to bury the dead. In the culture of the time, burial was a two-stage ritual: the initial burial of the body followed a year later by the interment of the bones, a lengthy process. The man is told that his commitment to Christ takes priority even over this.
The third conversation is about tying up loose ends with family, and Jesus’ response is again uncompromising: “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God” (62).
Instead of embracing change and challenge, I opt for familiarity and ease, but comfort isn’t always the friend of Christianity. Now is the time to hear the call of Jesus to leave what we’re doing and follow him. Are we ready?
Lord, give me strength to follow and serve You.
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