In His Steps
Luke 9:57-62, “As they were going along the road, someone said to Him, ‘I will follow You wherever you go.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.’ And He said to another, ‘Follow Me.’ But he said, ‘Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.’ But He said to him, ‘Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.’ Another also said, ‘I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say good-bye to those at home.’ But Jesus said to him, ‘No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.’ ”
Thoughts on discipleship…
- His Word to me is His Word…to me.
- All 3 people shared a similar passion and desire…a willingness to follow Jesus. However, Jesus spoke 3 very different and distinct challenges to each one of them (note the specific, repeated use of “to him“). His Word to them was a very personal word. Compare to Luke 9:23, “And He was saying to them all,….”
- God has a specific personal word for each of us. God desires to speak to us intimately, directly and personally.
- Communication is the key. In each case the person spoke. In each case the person also listened. They gave Jesus both opportunity and time to speak.
- Salvation (His love) is free. Discipleship (following Jesus) is costly.
- Salvation is a free gift. It is not earned. I can only receive the free gift of God. The price for my salvation was paid entirely by Christ and His redemptive work on the cross (Eph 2:8-9; Rom 6:23).
- Discipleship is a costly endeavour. Jesus urged His followers to “count the cost.” Those desiring to follow Him were expected to deny self and take up their cross on a daily basis (Lk 9:23-26; Lk 14:24-33).
- I should remember that His call to discipleship in my life will involve personal, direct challenges. In the same manner that He confronted the 3, He will also put His finger on those areas of my life that function as obstacles in my pursuit of Him.
- Jesus loves me enough to challenge me to walk away from where I am in order to follow Him to where He wants to take me.
- Where He wants to take us is well worth the risk of obedience.
- Remember the law of spiritual reciprocity. The return is always greater than the sacrifice. When I give to Him He gives back to me in greater measure.
- He only asks me to empty my hands in order that He might fill them with what only He can give. I never lose when I give to Him that which he asks me to relinquish.
- His love is a jealous (zealous) love. He will not allow anything to remain that competes for first place in my life.
- He challenges our desire for comfort. The first person wanted to maintain a certain lifestyle, level of comfort, security, etc.
- He challenges our commitment to obligation. The second person was unwilling to relinquish his sense of responsibility. He prioritized his needs over those of the kingdom.
- He challenges our commitment to relationship (cf. Matt 10:37-39). The third person lacked singular passion. Life is not “Jesus and…“. Nor is it “…and Jesus.” Life is Jesus. In all things He must have the preeminence. No more “ands“. No more “firsts.” Only Jesus.
“Nothing is really lost by a life of sacrifice; everything is lost by failure to obey God’s call.” ~ Henry P Liddon, English theologian