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.” 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.” 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.” Luke 9:57-62
Jesus asks a lot from those who follow Him. He also set an example of how much can be expected from us. Once Jesus began His ministry He was essentially homeless. I can imagine there were times He may have had to sleep outdoors. When He and His disciples entered a town they stayed with someone but Jesus had no home to call His own.
In today’s verses Jesus has two people ask to follow Him. The first told Jesus that he would follow Jesus but only after he had gone home to bury his Father. Jesus responds to this request by saying “Leave the dead to bury their own dead.” Sounds a bit harsh doesn’t it? How could Jesus deny this person’s request to bury his father? It might have been harsh except for the fact that the father was in all likelihood still living. It was a Jewish custom for the oldest son to not move too far from his parents so that when they died is was his obligation to bury them. Not that this kept them from leaving but it is a good excuse to get out of something. After all he asked to follow Jesus but Jesus rebuked him. I can imagine this man telling those at home, “I tried to follow Jesus but the man is just so unreasonable.”
Then we have the person who show up to follow Jesus but wants time to go back home and say their goodbyes. Jesus this person with “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” Once again we have a person who says they are ready to follow Jesus yet have an excuse as to why they can’t do so just yet. If one is constantly looking back they will never be able to go ahead. The plowing is a great example. When a farmer plows they fix on a point in the distance, maybe a tree or a large rock. They keep going towards that fixed point and have a straight furrow. If they look back they will wonder off course. I have never plowed a field so this knowledge is second hand but when mowing my yard in the early spring before the grass is growing at summer time heights I too have to fix on a point at the end of my yard else I will be constantly going back to mow areas I have missed.
Too many people like the idea of following Jesus they just don’t like or are not ready to follow Jesus in fact. They are ready to commit once they have made their fortune and after they have resolved this or that issue. Problem is that we will never get all our issues resolved. Jesus wants us to follow Him now not when it is convenient to us.
Have a blessed day,