Following Jesus-Luke 9:57-62

Luke 9:57-62 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” 59 He said to another man, “Follow me.” But the man replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” 60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” 61 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family.” 62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

Luca 9:57-62 “Mentre camminavano per la via, qualcuno gli disse: «Io ti seguirò dovunque andrai». 58 E Gesù gli rispose: «Le volpi hanno delle tane e gli uccelli del cielo dei nidi, ma il Figlio dell’uomo non ha dove posare il capo».59 A un altro disse: «Seguimi». Ed egli rispose: «{Signore,} permettimi di andare prima a seppellire mio padre». 60 Ma egli gli disse: «Lascia che i morti seppelliscano i loro morti; ma tu va’ ad annunciare il regno di Dio». 61 Un altro ancora gli disse: «Ti seguirò, Signore, ma lasciami prima salutare quelli di casa mia». 62 Ma Gesù {gli disse}: «Nessuno che abbia messo la mano all’aratro e poi volga lo sguardo indietro è adatto per il regno di Dio».

In this narrative, three men approached Jesus with the same request: to follow Him. Undoubtedly, they had observed the growing number of people around Jesus, may have heard or witnessed the healing and deliverance of many… so they wanted to join, too. Their requests seemed genuine and honest, right? Jesus had just announced that He was going to Jerusalem to be betrayed by the hands of men. Notice the emphasis of the first man. He adds the words “wherever you go.” Jesus had no home nor did the disciples for these years so either this man didn’t know what he was asking or thought it would be a life of ease where Jesus’ followers would enjoy the comforts of life. The piercing answer becomes more vivid by contrasting that foxes and birds had shelter but Jesus did not. This was perhaps more than the man counted on. It would entail hardships, contempt by the world and uncertainty of a place to live.

In the second account, Jesus spoke to another follower very pointedly. In essence, ‘you heard what I said to the other man. What about you?’ This man makes the stipulation about his father’s death. Either his father had recently died or was about to die but there was really nothing else he could do for him. The answer from Jesus was quite direct; “Let the dead bury the dead.” Should Christ wait around until this man was good and ready to make a commitment? Maybe the man was afraid he would lose his inheritance or didn’t want people to think badly of him. Whatever his motive, Jesus tells him that the urgency of the kingdom of God makes no accommodations for its followers.

The third man wanted to follow Jesus after he was able to say good-bye to his family. He possibly wanted to publicize how great he was because Jesus had asked him to join the group. Jesus’ answer here underscores what happened to Elisha when he was plowing the field and Elijah called him. Elisha immediately left the plow and joined Elijah. This man needed to make up his mind what he was going to do.

Although we don’t know for sure whether any of these men followed Christ, the lack of a response to Jesus’ words would indicate that the cost was too great in their mind. God, who sees our heart, knows the right words to say to reveal any hidden agenda within us.

Pray with me: Lord, I know that following You requires a complete surrender of my will. Help me to put aside anything that would distract me from following You without hesitation.



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