The Gospel of Luke

This devotional is written by Josh Anderson. Josh is an all round great guy!

 Luke 9:51-62

Samaritan opposition

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

The cost of following Jesus
57 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 nowhere 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 plough and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.'

Reflection

Jesus talks to three men in this passage.


The first (v57) is keen follow his leading wherever it goes, but Jesus tells him he is being too hasty; he needs to know this life won't be one of glamour, but hardship.

We know that following Jesus is life-transforming, but the Bible warns us there will be costs too. We need to know there are benefits and costs of following Jesus. That way, when life is hard, we can hold onto the truth that Jesus is worth it.


The second (v59) finds giving up control of his life harder. He's focussed on the process of the world around him, saying "I'll do it tomorrow". Jesus's response sounds harsh, but really he's saying "look at what I want to do today!".

If we're only looking for what we know, we'll miss the call to join in with what God's doing.


The third (v61) seems hesitant, asking Jesus to wait for him to say goodbye (commentators say to get his family & friends' approval). Jesus tells him he will be ineffective in the Kingdom if he is distracted by looking for the approval of others.

We mustn't get distracted by looking for the praise of others. The gospel is urgent, let's get out there!


Are you falling into any of these categories?

you feel like you jumped into Christian life without realising the cost. Maybe you're suffering as a result and you feel cheated or resentful
you can feel the things around you/your past pulling you away from following Jesus.
you're worried about how you appear to others, or how well you're doing compared to other Christians

Pray.

Take time to reflect. Identify anything that's holding you back. Make a conscious decision to give them over and be refilled with the Spirit.

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