Summary: What does it take to be a true follower of Jesus Christ? It takes white hot commitment and looking for and doing the perfect will of God.
Luke 9:57-62, "And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."
Here is a man who had the desire to be used by the Lord in ministry. He had already seen Jesus in action and he was convinced that Jesus was a leader among leaders. I wonder if the vision that he saw in his own mind was one of becoming a part of Jesus’ inner circle?
There are a lot of people in our churches right now who are only following Jesus because of the earthly benefits that they receive from being a “man of God”. It’s still somewhat popular to be called a “man of the cloth” or a minister of the gospel. There are a lot of men and women on the radio, and on the TV, who claim to have the call of God upon their lives but there is no real “fruit” of souls being saved as a part of their ministry.
How often do we watch the programs on TV that are supposed to be Christ centered and yet we never see them preach repentance or give an altar call where lost souls can accept Jesus as their Savior? All you see in entertainment and conversations with those who are lifted up before the world as great leaders but there is no meat of the Word of God in their testimonies.
The gospel message that saves souls is not a message that speaks of the great buildings and huge congregations that attend. It is not a message of how great our music is, how well our singers and musicians can perform, nor is it a message of positive thinking and motivational seminars.
The last time that I looked, the message of the gospel as presented in the Word of God, has not changed.
Paul tells us how the message of the gospel is to go forth in 1 Corinthians 1:21, "For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe."
All of our beautiful buildings and entertainment centered churches are not growing because of the “foolishness of preaching” anymore. They are growing because many have become little more than religious country clubs.
The sad fact is that most people are not seeking to follow Christ in the manner that Jesus wants them to. If Jesus doesn’t fit into their box, or their plans for their lives, or into their own busy schedule, then they simply reject Him and move on.
When the first man came to Jesus desiring to be a follower of the Lord, he didn’t have a clue to the sacrificial life that Jesus led while he walked upon this earth. That man came to Jesus expecting to gain a good life, fame and popularity. Whatever he was expecting, it wasn’t what he found because he backed off of his request to be a follower very quickly.
Jesus knew the carnality of this man’s heart. He knew that his heart really wasn’t in living a sacrificial life, or giving his will over to the Lord completely. He knew that this man had no idea what he was asking for.
Jesus’ answer quickly dispelled any dreams of the easy life or grandeur that this man had. Jesus admitted to being a “homeless” person. This world wasn’t Jesus’ home. He had come from Heaven and knew that in just a few short years, he would be returning to Heaven once again. He didn’t care for establishing a home, or a base of operations for his ministry. Jesus just went wherever he was led of the Holy Spirit to go and had no ties with anyone or anything that would hold him back.
How many of us would allow a homeless person to lead us for the rest our lives? That’s the picture that Jesus painted for this man who was searching for success and the grand lifestyle that went with success. When that man realized that success in this life was not what Jesus was teaching; when he realized that wealth of this world was the last thing on Jesus’ mind; and when he realized that following Christ was going to be a life of sacrifice and giving up all the good things in life to obtain the promise of eternal life, he turned and walked away.