Following Jesus

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Reading the Word

Luke 9:57–62 (ESV)

57 As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 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.” 59 To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 60 And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” 61 Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” 62 Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Parallel Text: Matthew 8:18-22

Understanding and Applying the Word

This passage emphasizes the cost of following Jesus. The word “follow” is repeated three times (vv. 57, 59, and 61) and considers three different scenarios. The first man wanted to follow Jesus and Jesus told him that it was going to cost him daily comforts. Jesus had no place to lay his head, so the man could expect the same for himself. Jesus called the second man to follow him, but the man desired to first go and bury his father. Jesus’ response seems cold, but his point was that the proclamation of the kingdom must take priority over everything else. The third is another man who went to Jesus and desired to follow him, but first wanted to say goodbye to his family. Again, Jesus emphasized that following him means putting Jesus and the work of the kingdom before all else, including family.

Most of us are happy to “follow” Jesus if it does not really interfere too much with our lives. We simply want to add him to everything else we are doing and give him our spare time, money, resources, and effort. That is not what Jesus desires from us. He wants all of us and he wants to be the top priority in our lives. This does not mean that we neglect every other area of responsibility we have been given, but it does mean that every area of life is changed and comes under our relationship to Christ. In all that we do and with all that we have, we seek to honor our Lord and proclaim his kingdom to the world. This commitment is costly and will turn your life upside down. Are you ready to follow him?

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