Do we have a desire to follow Jesus and have we made this known to Him and to others? If so, have we considered what it will mean?
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“I Will Follow”
- Do we have a desire to follow Jesus?
- And have we made this known to Him and to others?
- If so, have we considered what it will mean?
- Well, today we discuss the account of a man who expressed this desire
- And examine the response of Jesus
- They have a lot to teach us…
- An expression of intention to follow is not necessarily the same as a decision to follow
- Do we know – does the man in this passage know what following Jesus means?
- Jesus provides key details that will help anyone who intends to follow Him…
57 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.
- This is a declaration of intent
- It is a good intent
- And most of us have good intentions
- We’re often loaded with good intentions, in fact
- But men are also, often, reminded by wise people of an intention’s limitations
- This one, is not just an expression of intent to follow
- But an expression of intent to follow – wherever Jesus goes
- What are the potential ramifications of committing to follow someone anywhere?
- Of course, they could lead us into danger
- Or hardship
- Or pain
- Or poverty
- They could lead us to places we never had any intention of going
- Places we deeply dislike
- Places we have no willingness to stay
- We know from elsewhere in scripture that following Jesus means
- Denial of self
- Walking a narrow road
- Becoming a living sacrifice
- Taking up our cross
- And experiencing certain persecution
- Wherever we follow Him, it is unlikely to be comfortable
- Jesus makes this clear…
58 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.
- Jesus himself, was not in a comfortable situation
- He had no home
- Those who followed Him would need to live like Him
- Perhaps leaving a place of comfort today, to be assured of discomfort tomorrow
- But living in this way was not inconsistent with that which Jesus already said
- Or that which He would reiterate in the future
- As He assured His followers their comfort would be other-worldly
- It would come from within
- As the Comforter, who is the Holy Spirit would come to us
- To abide with us forever
- And equip us with the power to live with any degree of discomfort required
- Standing upon this firm foundation
- With this eternal peace
- Certain of a future in heaven, the home Jesus would prepare for us
- We proceed forward
- All of this, on the basis of our faith in Him
- But trusting Him might mean other things…
59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
- We may be tempted to quibble with Jesus’ response
- If we do, it will show we have missed the point entirely
- Jesus loves us
- And He loves our families
- And He knows all things
- And He is trustworthy
- And He wants what is best for us
- And if He says to go and preach, rather than do anything else
- This is the very best decision we can make
- Exactly the right decision for us
- This advice was right for the man He asked to “follow”
- He was not to wait for his father or anyone else to die
- But to press forward immediately, instead, preaching life!
- Remember Jesus’ words just a few chapters later in Luke 14:26…
“If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”
- For our devotion to Him must be so great
- That any other devotion in life, by comparison, resembles hate
- Others, apparently, had intentions to follow…
61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.
62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
- In the perfect knowledge and understanding of our Lord
- We see another response
- There was no concern about waiting for someone to die
- This was a simple farewell
- But Jesus brings reality swiftly into view
- For He says if a man has put his hand to the plow in God’s service
- And he looks back
- He is not fit
- Self-denying service for Christ
- Is not merely adding Him to our priority list
- No, it is much more
- It is the loss of our entire life for His sake
- It means full surrender
- Our desires are gone, His desires are now our own
- Nothing less will ever do
- So, do we merely have the intention to follow?
- Or have we made a final decision to follow?
- Whatever that means for us?