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Summary: PENTECOST 6(C) - Jesus invites us to follow Him without hestitation and with steadfast mercy.

JESUS INVITES US TO FOLLOW HIM

LUKE 9:51 (quickview) —62 JULY 20, 2003

LUKE 9:51-62 (quickview) 

51As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. 52And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; 53but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. 54When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, "Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?" 55But Jesus turned and rebuked them, 56and they went to another village.

57As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go."

58Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."

59He said to another man, "Follow me."

But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father."

60Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God."

61Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family."

62Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."

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Dearest Fellow-Redeemed and Precious Saints in the Lord:

You and I receive many different kinds of invitations during our lifetime. We receive invitations for birthdays, anniversaries, confirmations, graduations, weddings and the list goes on and on. How we react to those invitations of course, depends on what type of celebration it is, how close we know the people who invited and again, the list goes on and on too. Today the Lord extends to us, His believers, His invitation to follow Him. Our sinful nature doesn’t react very excitedly when we receive such an invitation because our sinful nature is just content to walk down the path of destruction and go along merrily on it’s own way. Our Christian nature realizes the invitation Jesus extends to us, His believers, is very precious. It’s the most important invitation that any of us will ever receive. We understand that because we look at the one who extends the invitation. From the gospel of John he says to us, "When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ’I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life’"(JOHN 8:12 (quickview) ). In the morning, we don’t think too much of darkness but when the night falls, then we see the darkness and we like to have light around us. None of us likes to stumble or fall. None of us likes to stub a toe in darkness.

Here we have today, once again, the light of the world saying to you and I as believers, ‘Come follow me.’ We’re going to look at these words that God has placed before us this morning, realizing that

JESUS INVITES US TO FOLLOW HIM

I. Without any hesitation

II. With steadfast mercy

I. Without any hesitation

We are going to look at the last part of our text first. We see Jesus and His disciples on the path going to Jerusalem, making a pilgrimage – they are going there to worship. 57As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go." We could picture Jesus and His disciples walking along, probably a good-sized crowd also following them. A man approaches that group of people and says, ‘I’m going to follow you wherever you go.’ It sounds kind of impulsive doesn’t it? Jesus wants him to stop and think what he is really saying. 58Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." He said, ‘you want to follow Me but we’re not going to go home at night to our own beds. You want to follow Me but we’re not going to find a house to live in.’ Jesus was not even accepted anymore in His own country. The people in His hometown didn’t want to hear Jesus preaching anymore. They didn’t even want to see Him perform any miracles. Jesus reminded this man who said, ‘I’m going to follow you’, that animals have a place to lay their head; the birds have nests, but not the Son of Man. Here is one who volunteers and probably changes his mind because of his impulsive action.


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