The Not So Eager Jesus
Do you notice that Jesus is not nearly as eager to attract or to accept followers as we are? He has some strong words for those that want to follow him. Are you prepared for his questions?
“As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, ‘I will follow you wherever you go.’ Jesus replied, ‘Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.’ He said to another man, 'follow me.’ But the man replied, 'Lord first let me go and bury my father.’ Jesus said to him, 'let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the Kingdom of God.’ Still another said, ‘I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-bye to my family.’ Jesus, replied, ‘No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the Kingdom of God.”
Are you willing to get uncomfortable?
‘Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.’
When we follow Jesus we acknowledge that heaven is our home and earth is temporal. We adopt and live out kingdom principles even when they don’t make sense to us. To do this means we need to get uncomfortable and be ready to be different. It's not just being different, but it is being different in a radical way that shows a hungry world the real Jesus. The effects of being radical, crazy, or weird for God manifest in ways that bring life to the full to you and to others. Be different!
Pray that Jesus makes you more uncomfortable when you don’t follow him over the comfort of conforming and playing it “cool” everywhere you go.
Are you willing to change your priorities?
“Lord first let me go and bury my father.”
He breaks our definition of what we believe is top priority in our lives. Jesus made it clear that spreading the good news was top priority. Jesus was being clear to the man, that his father has passed away (no longer here) but there are still people here alive and living. Jesus is calling us to make decisions in light of what would have the most eternal value in the bigger picture. As much as it seems insensitive to us, Jesus alerts us to keep our attention on eternal priorities.
Pray that Jesus shows you the priorities that have the most eternal value.
Are you willing to let go of past associations?
“I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-bye to my family.”
We sometimes delay following Jesus because we are not quite ready to leave behind our old life (or parts of it). It’s hard for us to just cut people and things out. However, if you are to plow a straight furrow, you can't be doing it while looking backward. Jesus knows that if the man went back to his family, things may come up to take him away from the original call. It’s wise not to delay or go back to places that Jesus has called us from or even just look for the approval of others.
Pray that when you make a commitment and hear from Jesus that you keep your eyes forward towards your calling.
Jesus was a rebel in the way he thought and did life. There was a cost in following him.
“Nothing causes so much backsliding as not letting them know basically what they are taking in hand.” - J.C Ryle
Do you know what you are taking in hand?