My last post I talked about discipleship. This post will continue the concept of discipleship in the gospel of Luke. This whole passage is about commitment. It can be seen in three points: Personal comfort (9:57-58), Personal responsibilities (9:59-60), and Personal relationships (9:61-62).
Personal comfort (9:57-58): Notice that in the first instance, the person has a desire to follow Jesus but ends up not following Jesus because he was not willing to give up personal comforts. When Jesus was here on earth, there really was not place for him to stay. Jesus was always on the move, always staying at other people’s place. The implication is if one is willing to follow Jesus, one has to be willing to give up personal comforts. To follow Jesus is to be willing to depend upon God for the daily bread. That was Jesus, is that us? Too often we make excuses in the realm of comfort for not following Jesus. Have you made those excuses?
Personal responsibilities: In order to understand the significance of this section, one has to understand the culture of the time. The culture of the time is religious duties have precedence over everything else. In other words, when Jesus says, “let the dead bury their own dead,” He in essence is giving us this principle: the demand of discipleship is a commitment to Him that transcends the greatest family obligations. The commitment to Jesus is to go and proclaim. Discipleship is a commitment to go and share the gospel to save the lost. Let those who are spiritual dead bury the physical dead. Does your allegiance to Christ transcend all obligations?
Personal relationships: Jesus demands that “old” family relationships must take a backseat if one wants to become a follower. The call to discipleship takes precedence over family relationship. One commentator says the phrase, “looks back,” carries with it the imagery of “gazing back on the things abandoned in to follow Jesus” (American Bible Commentary, 301). In this context Jesus is talking about the family. It is a call to full commitment. Are we all in or are we half in to follow Jesus? What are some of the things that we are looking back at that is causing us to be “half in”?
Summary: Discipleship is costly. It will cost personal comfort, personal responsibilities, and personal relationships. Are you willing to give it all up to follow Jesus? Count the cost before making the decision to follow Jesus. Too often, I think and this is simply my opinion, maybe the reason why so many Christians are not effective in the kingdom of God is because they never really counted the cost of following Jesus. They are half in and half out. They want the benefits of following Christ but are unwilling to give up the things of this world. Where do you and I stand? Are we all in or not?
in His grace,