I want to follow Jesus. Am I ready for what it takes? Have I counted the cost and now prepared to make the investment it will take? Am I ready to give up everything; money, family, everything? Am I?
Jesus wants to know. Really, Jesus wants to know what is in my heart. Jesus wants to know how I will act and behave.
No procrastination. No backward looks. I can’t put God’s kingdom off till tomorrow. I must seize the day.
Am I joy to Jesus or am I breaking His heart?
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.”
“Master,” 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.” | Luke 9:57-62 (Christian Standard Bible)
Three men could have become disciples, but they would not meet the conditions that Jesus laid down.
- The first man was a scribe who volunteered to go until he heard the cost: he had to deny himself. Apparently, he was accustomed to a comfortable home.
- The second man was called by Jesus (what an honor!), but he was rejected because he would not take up the cross and die to self. He was worried about somebody else’s funeral when he should have been planning his own! Jesus is not suggesting here that we dishonor our parents, but only that we not permit our love for family to weaken our love for the Master Jesus. We should love the Messiah so much that our love for family would look like hatred in comparison.
- The third man also volunteered, but he could not follow Jesus because he was looking back instead of ahead. There is nothing wrong with a loving farewell, but if it gets in the way of obedience, it becomes a case of missing God’s goal for our lives. Jesus saw that this man’s heart was not wholly with Him, but that he would be plowing and looking back.
No wonder the laborers are few! We can’t pay the price. We can’t give it our all. We raise our hand and say “Pick me” but don’t how to play the game. Jesus doesn’t want us on the sidelines. Jesus wants us in the game. Jesus wants players, not spectators.
What Jesus taught His disciples and the multitudes had done them little good. They lacked power, love, and discipline, and they grieved His heart. If we today lack these spiritual essentials, we can never truly be His disciples, but they are available to us from the Master. “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but of power, of love and of self-discipline” (2 Tim. 1:7).
Are we a joy to Jesus Christ, or are we breaking His heart?
- Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 209). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Luke 9). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.