There is so much content in Luke’s chapters I often do not know where to sit and meditate. I am struggling again with this today.
Oh Lord, as the sun is shining outside, may Jesus’ words shine into my heart and life…
After my brief prayer, I decided to meditate on the final vignette of the chapter.
As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” He said to another man, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.” Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God” (57-62).
I feel a bit inadequate or deficient in my discipleship as I read this account, particularly the two pointed comments by Jesus I put into read. Jesus is demanding everything, absolute allegiance. Having buried both parents and a mother-in-law in the last few years, I cannot imagine not being there to bury them. Jesus’ words seem harsh. Now maybe I am missing some cultural piece, but if the man’s father had truly just died, would Jesus reject him for taking part in family obligations of burial?
Then again, if his father just died, why is he there with Jesus at all… could this be an “I’ll follow you later, Jesus, when it is more convenient” comment?
Am I rationalizing this Jesus story or trying to make cultural sense of it? Sometimes it is hard to tell what is driving my reactions to the text.
Absolutes aside, Jesus is making a strong case for total allegiance to Him. Allegiance stronger that cultural and family bonds. Allegiance to Jesus that trumps any and all other human allegiances, stronger than
· Family ties
· National ties
· Country of origin ties
· Neighborhood, party, collegiate, race or ethnic ties.
Jesus is saying that my connection and following of Him is more important than anything else in my life.
This is so difficult to fathom as well as live out.
Even Paul recognizes that a husband has more responsibilities and pressures than a single person. And balancing these responsibilities affects service availability to King Jesus (read 1Corinthinans 7:32-35, particularly 33-34).
This I realize is where faith, listening to the voice of the Lord and understanding His word comes in. We need to be living in God’s will and following Him. If He asks us to choose between Him and any other loyalty, we must choose Jesus.
Lord God, I lay down my life to You. I seek to be the best husband, father, pastor, human being I can be and following You is essential. Should You call me to choose between obedience to You and cultural functions of any of my other facets of life, I pray for strength to follow You totally and unequivocally. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.