Day 105: Fickle Followers

Luke 9:56-62 :

They went to another village. As they went on the way, a certain man said to him, “I want to follow you wherever you go, Lord.”

Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

He said to another, “Follow me!”

But he said, “Lord, allow me first to go and bury my father.”

But Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead, but you go and announce the Kingdom of God.”

Another also said, “I want to follow you, Lord, but first allow me to say good-bye to those who are at my house.”

But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God.”

These conversations demonstrate how different people respond to the call to follow Jesus. How people respond demonstrates the faith that they have in what the call is and who it is who is calling them. In the first case, a man says he wants to follow Jesus wherever He goes, but Jesus basically reminds the man that He is poor. I think that this is a sign that people who followed Jesus had to pay their own way to be with Him. Jesus wasn’t living a rich lifestyle. I believe He was requiring that the student realize that this education would not be an easy. Perhaps some people who wanted to follow a rabbi thought that it would be a way to climb up to a higher social level on earth, but following Jesus would be to live a life without much to live on.

In the second case, Jesus commands a man to follow Him, but the man requests to do some personal business first. When I read this without paying attention to who Jesus is, it does seem like Jesus could have been polite and let the man go and have a funeral for His own father, but we should never ignore who Jesus is!

Jesus knew about the man’s father. He also knew that there were others who would be willing to bury Him. The man simply needed to trust in Jesus and start following Him right that moment because of who He is. The one who said “Let there be light” told this man “Follow me!” I am sure the one who made the universe can handle the situation for this disciple. Worrying about worldly things can kill what we might do for Jesus now. Jesus says to “Leave the dead to bury their own dead.” Perhaps there were people trying to use this issue as a way to keep him away from following Jesus. Perhaps Jesus was rebuking those who refused to help this man follow. When the Creator speaks, we should take the opportunity to obey willfully!

The last would-be disciple was distracted from the command of the Creator by feelings for his family. Evidently, he wasn’t fully committed to following Jesus but was being distracted by other loves. Jesus wants us to love Him more than everyone else including our families. It’s not that He doesn’t want us to love our families, it’s just that families can be placed as a higher priority than Jesus and that is very inappropriate considering who Jesus is and what it means to be a follower. If a person looks back when following Jesus, he probably doesn’t believe Jesus is really God or that He really has the best possible things in mind.

Some people who claim to follow Jesus do not really believe in Him yet. It isn’t that people lose their salvation, some of them just haven’t been saved yet and they are exposed when they leave the way of faith.