October 13 – Luke 9:57-62

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Luke 9:57-62 – The Cost of Following Jesus

Radical demands. Being a follower of Jesus isn't necessarily easy. In fact, Jesus was very clear about the fact that it wouldn't be.

As they were traveling, a man who probably traveled with the larger group offered to follow Jesus wherever he would go. Jesus’ response was a little cryptic. Nature provides a home for creation, but the Son of Man is an alien in this world. His home will never be found on earth. Living as a disciple of Jesus means living as a stranger to the world as well. Choosing to be a Christian is different from the choices that many others make and will always set one apart from the rest of the world.

Jesus continues to make the point when he asks another man to follow him. Personal issues are more important to this man than following Christ. In Judaism, burying a relative is a religious duty taken on by the son. All other duties are set aside. There is nothing that takes precedence over burying a parent. There were expectations placed upon this young man and he asked Jesus for an opportunity to take care of the worldly things first.  Jesus tries to impress upon him the urgency of the call.  This was to take precedence over even the burial of his father.

A third person offers to follow Jesus after he has said goodbye to his family. While this seems reasonable, and is exactly what Elijah allowed Elisha to do when he called the young man to follow him (1 Kings 19:19-21), Jesus refuses to allow anything to be set before his call. There is nothing more important than the relationship with Jesus Christ.

He delivers a warning in the final verse of this pericope. If you are to follow him, you must do so and not look back. There are many instances in scripture of people looking back, only to lose their way. Lot’s wife look back … the nation of Israel looked back after the Exodus. Jesus knows that if we are continually attempting to return to the past … to a family to says goodbye, to a responsibility we feel is more important … we will never fully commit to the kingdom of God.