Luke 9:57-58 ESV
“As they were going along the road, someone said to him, ‘I will follow you wherever you go.’ 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.’”
Jesus knows what we are thinking. He knows when our words are not sincere or when we speak before we think or when we make promises before we truly think them all the way through. This person may have felt in his heart that he would follow the Lord wherever he would go. We don’t know. Perhaps he didn’t really understand what it meant to follow Jesus.
And this is where a lot of people may be today. They have heard about Jesus. They have heard that it is a good thing to believe on him and so they decide they are going to believe in him. And they have been told that it will mean forgiveness of their sins and the hope of heaven when they die and that sounds good to them so they are ready to get on board.
But no one really explained to them what it means to follow Jesus with our lives. No one explained to them that to follow Jesus means dying with him to our sin and living to him and to his righteousness, and that it means we will share in the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming like him in his death. That isn’t what they thought they were signing up for and so they fall away.
Luke 9:59-60 ESV
“To another he said, ‘Follow me.’ But he said, ‘Lord, let me first go and bury my father.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.’”
And then there are those that Jesus calls to follow him but they aren’t ready to make that kind of commitment, and so they stall for time. And many of them continue to stall for time and say, “When this happens, then I will give my life to Jesus.” There is always an excuse. Always some reason why they can’t surrender their lives to Christ today, and so they never do.
But Jesus doesn’t except excuses. He doesn’t except stall tactics. For no one using stall tactics has it truly in his heart to follow the Lord. And the Lord knows that. And so the Lord lets us know what it means to follow him. It means to leave what we want out of our lives behind us. It means to forsake our own dreams and ambitions and to surrender our lives to Christ.
It means that Jesus Christ is now the Owner-Master of our lives and he owns us and so we must obey what he tells us to do. And so we deny self and what self wants and we die daily with him to sin and we follow him in obedience because he said that is what we must do to be one of his. And we go and we proclaim the gospel of our salvation as Jesus has commanded.
Luke 9:61-62 ESV
“Yet another said, ‘I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.’ Jesus said to him, ‘No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.’”
This is another one making excuses and stall tactics in order to wiggle his way out of leaving everything right then and there to follow the Lord. But Jesus, again, does not accept excuses or stall tactics, and so he lets us know, again, what it means to follow him. If we say “Yes,” to Jesus and then go back to living how we did before, we are not fit for the kingdom of God.
And there are many people today whom the Lord has called or who had the idea to follow Jesus without thinking it all the way through who are not ready to take that step of full surrender and maybe never will be. They are still caught up in their earthly lives and they don’t want to let go of their lives, and so they may claim that when they are old then they will commit their lives to Christ and follow him wherever he leads. That may be too late.
But the message for us here is that Jesus is not looking for “followers” who are too caught up in their own lives to submit to him as Lord and to go where he sends them. We are not fit to be his disciples if the things we want to do are more important than what God wants us to do. Jesus is looking for followers who will yield control of their lives over to him and who will let him lead. And so we need to surrender our hearts to the Lord and do what he commands and go wherever he sends us, and our lives will be blessed.
A Believer’s Prayer
An Original Work / July 31, 2012
With my whole heart, Lord, I pray
To be Yours, and Yours always.
Lead me in Your truth today.
May I love You, and obey.
Lead me in Your righteousness.
When I sin, may I confess;
Bow before You when I pray;
Live for You and You always.
Love You, Jesus, You’re my friend.
Life with You will never end.
You are with me through each day,
Giving love and peace always.
You will ne’er abandon me.
From my sin You set me free.
You died on that cruel tree,
So I’d live eternally.
Soon You’re coming back for me;
From this world to set me free;
Live with You eternally.
Oh, what joy that brings to me.
I will walk with You in white;
A pure bride, I’ve been made right
By the blood of Jesus Christ;
Pardoned by His sacrifice.