Summary: Luke 9:57-62 contains three brief snapshots taken as Jesus walked along the road. A few verses earlier we learn that Jesus “STEADFASTLY” set out for Jerusalem (Luke 9:51). He was determined to go there even though He knew what awaited Him. Since He was
FOLLOW OR NOT
Luke 9:57-62 contains three brief snapshots taken as Jesus walked along the road.
A few verses earlier we learn that Jesus “STEADFASTLY” set out for Jerusalem (Luke 9:51). He was determined to go there even though He knew what awaited Him. Since He was the Son of God, He knew in advance that when He got there, He would be betrayed, falsely accused, convicted of crimes He had not committed, beaten, scourged, spat upon, and finally crucified. Instead of running away, he “set his face” to go to Jerusalem in obedience to the will of God.
As he walked along, three men met him on the road. Each man wanted to follow Jesus, but each man had a hesitation, a reservation, or if you will, each man had a convenient excuse. These three men wanted to be disciples but they weren’t yet ready to pay the price.
As we study these brief snapshots, we will discover that these convenient excuses are amazingly still being used to day.
I. The IMPULSIVE MAN (57-58)
We can call this first man the Enthusiastic Disciple. Although I can’t prove it, I think he was a young man—possibly in his late teens or early 20s.
A. The claim he made
There is much we could say about this young man. He is obviously sincere in what he says. He is definite in what he says as well. He says, “I will follow you,” not “I might follow you” or “I’m thinking about following you.” He is unconditional - “whithersoever thou goest.” This is all good.
B. The counsel he received
I find it interesting that Christ didn’t say, “Thank you.” He didn’t say, “I welcome you as my disciple.” In fact, Jesus doesn’t seem overly impressed by the enthusiasm the fellow expresses.
This man is sincere in his desire but he has not yet counted the cost.
“Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man hath not where to lay his head.”
Jesus owned nothing but the clothes on his back. He never owned a home, never had a bank account, and never had a place he could call his own.
Do you realize that you following a homeless man? Jesus had none of the things we take for granted: no home, no car, no computer, no pension, no retirement, no investments of any kind. He lived day-to-day trusting in God to provide for His needs. He grew up in poverty and never rose far above it during his earthly life. He traveled from place to place, depending entirely on the generosity of his followers for his food.
Jesus is challenging this enthusiastic follower to count the cost.
Dr. Tolbert Moore, a dear friend of mine told a story about his child friend Grady Roebuck. He and several of their friend climbed in a wagon to ride down a hill. Faster and faster it got. One of the boys cried, “This is fun.”
About this time, they noticed a big briar patch at the end of road and everyone begin to unload except Tolbert and Grady. They covered up the best they could and through the briar patch they went.
When the friend was over Grady with his blood clothes torn, looked up at Tolbert and said, “Tob, Tob, you can find out who wants to ride the wagon when you come to the briar patch.”
You find out who wants to serve the Lord when come to the briar patches of life as well.
peril of the uncounted costs
II. The INSINCERE MAN (59-60)
peril of the unburied corpse
A. Note the enlistment
Jesus said to another man, “Follow me.” Jesus still seeks men to follow Him.
B. Note the evasion
“Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their dead, but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.”
This response has been understood in various ways. For example, some take the statement at face value, and conclude that this man had actually been bereaved and that it was incumbent upon him to proceed to take care of the funeral of his father.
But several arguments may be put forward against this interpretation. In Palestine, indeed in the East generally, burial takes place almost immediately after death. In addition, relatives of the deceased remain indoors until the funeral takes place. It is not likely, therefore, that this man was facing the necessity of having to bury his father. Indeed, it is to be questioned whether he had even lost his father!
What, then, is the explanation of his evasion? It seems evident that this man was the eldest son in his family; as such, it was his responsibility to take care of the funeral arrangements. Consequently, as he anticipated the necessity of discharging his duty in this regard at some time in the future, he had allowed it to become a convenient excuse whenever unwelcome demands were placed upon him.