Summary: We tend to forget the cost of Discipleship and this is a reminder of what Christ expets of us to follow Him
Now, I don’t endorse his political objectives, but I have always admired one thing about Jesse Jackson B his slogan "Keep your eyes on the prize," which he used during his unsuccessful run for the Democratic Party’s nomination for president of the United States in 1988. I mention this because that’s what we must do when we choose to follow Jesus! We must keep our eyes on the prize! And that’s what Jesus modeled for us:
1. He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem(v. 51b). - Knowing that the time had come for Him to go to Jerusalem, where He would suffer a cruel death on the Cross, and then return to Heaven, from whence He had come, He began to travel in that direction.
2. His ultimate goal was not Jerusalem. - He was on an eternal journey, and He wanted followers who would go all the way to the end (heaven) with Him. It would be a fantastic journey, but it would not be easy. There would be many stumbling blocks along the way. But there could be no other way! In John 14:1-3, Jesus said, "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father=s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again to receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also." Then, in v. 6 of that same chapter, He said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."
3. He would experience rejection in a Samaritan village (v. 53). - Jesus was not deterred by rejection in a Samaritan village, but simply went on to another.
4. He rebuked the bad attitudes of James and John - When James and John , the impetuous Sons of Thunder, wanted to command fire to come down from heaven and consume the Samaritans who rejected Jesus. Jesus not only rebuked them, but He also set the record straight as to what His real purpose was in coming to earth in the first place. In vv. 55b-56 He said, "You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men=s lives but to save them."
II. LEAVE ONE’S COMFORT ZONE - "Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, Lord, 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."(vv.57-58).
1. A promise from a follower. "Lord, I will follow You wherever You go" (v. 57). This was a significant promise. But could he keep it? The man certainly seemed to be sincere and wanted to stick with Jesus.
2. A difficult response from Jesus - "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head." (v. 58). Have you ever thought of the fact that once Jesus entered into His ministry, He had no earthly home? He was constantly traveling on the move! He was going from place to place meeting the needs of people, and He was literally pursued by the multitudes. So when this man came saying that he wanted to follow Him, Jesus was really asking him if he was willing to go on the road.
3. Following Jesus means leaving your comfort zone. What is your comfort zone? It may be a bad habit that you need to give up. It may be money. You think you can’t live without a certain amount of money coming in below the poverty level. It may be possessions. You may feel that without your upscale car, you just can’t function properly. Maybe you just don’t feel comfortable in certain neighborhoods or around certain people. There are people who tell you that you deserve the good life! Well, what makes one think that he/she deserves more than Jesus? The problem with many of us is that there is so much of the world in us that we aren’t comfortable with God and there is so much of God in us that we aren’t comfortable in the world!
III. FORGO PERSONAL PLANS - "Then He said to another, Follow Me. But he said, Lord, let me first go and bury my father. Jesus said to him, Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God." (vv. 59-60).
1. A potential disciple is called out by Jesus - Unlike the first man, this man had not volunteered to follow Jesus. His personal plans were interrupted when Jesus sought him out, in order for him to become His disciple. He may have thought, Who? Me? We’ve all had that feeling. Maybe we’re half asleep or just doodling in Sunday School or church and all of a sudden we’re asked to answer a question - or what about when we are called on to pray?