Luke 9.57 ff As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
59 He said to another man, “Follow me.”
But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
61 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”
62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
Jesus is magnetic. Many people want to be close to him. It is the same in our day as it was in Christ’s earth days. People want to be friends with Jesus. Isn’t it wonderful? Evidently not.
Jesus speaks to this wanna-be-disciple and discourages him. He basically tells him that he is too much a sissy to be a disciple. Discipleship costs dearly. It isn’t about comfort. (The Son has no where to lay his head). Two others come to Jesus and he discourages them to for deficiencies he finds in them. It is their attachment to the things of this world, comforts, relationships and earthly security that disqualify them from serving.
I often run into people who have left the church and as they begin to tell me why they aren’t serving the Lord wholeheartedly I find myself judging them. Some have affection for the Lord but have settled into the back row of a Mega McChurch somewhere and give God a couple bucks and 90 minutes each week. Their children see it and recognize it for what it is… shallow. Some have given up church attendance altogether. They insist that they want to return someday but they cannot do it now, sin is too enticing. Some blame others (some blame me!) for God’s unfulfilled design on their lives. It seems to satisfy their minds. Unfortunately God will see right through that.
It really is true that being a Christian takes a tough heart! All that talk about persevering to the end, holding fast to the faith, never giving up, and standing firm must mean something! Christ said it profoundly but simply in Luke 9. It isn’t palatable to the modern sensibilities but it is true, nonetheless. No Sissies need apply for discipleship in the Kingdom of God.