|Posted on March 23, 2010 at 7:50 AM|
Been thinking about the talk by Rev Laurie on Luke 9:18-27; 51-62 a few weeks ago. Jesus’ words here are radically confronting and worthy of reflection leading up to Easter.
Luke 9 is a turning point in Luke’s Gospel whereby after Peter’s confession of Jesus as the Christ (9:20), Jesus begins to teach His disciples that he must suffer, be killed and raise to life again on the third day (9:22). The death of Jesus that first Easter Friday was not an accident nor was it something that was outside the control of God. Luke tells us that Jesus willingly and “resolutely set out for Jerusalem” (9:51) where he would face the Cross. And He did that to glorify God His Father by saving us.
What is interesting is that on the journey to Jerusalem, Jesus encountered three different people who wanted to follow Him but his words to them has caused me to reflect about my own attitude to Jesus’ radical discipleship.
Luke records the encounters this way (9:51-62):
As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go."
Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."
He said to another man, "Follow me." But the man 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 good-by to my family."
Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."
I can see myself in the shoes of the three people Jesus spoke with on the Jerusalem road. I probably would have given those excuses too when it came to the crunch. But just as Jesus resolutely set his face for Jerusalem, so too as his disciples we should resolutely set our face to seek first His Kingdom.
I find Jesus’ words below comforting yet challenging as we seek to serve Him in mission.
"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? (9:23-25)