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Excuses, Excuses!

29/01/2016

Excuses, Excuses

Text: Luke 9:57-62

The Lord speaks to three ‘potential followers.’  Each made an excuse as to why they could not come.  we do not know who these men were, but we do know that the answers Jesus gave were solemn warnings to them, and to us!  Let’s examine the three conversations.

 An Understanding of the COST. 9:57-58   Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.” 58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”

The man came to Jesus, and he made the point that he would like to be His follower.  Lord I will follow you wherever you go!”

  • The man made an unconditional offer. What an expansive declarations.  Wherever Jesus would go, this man would be following.
  • It was an unsolicited offer. There is, of course, something intrinsically attractive about the real person of Jesus, and in the effects of conversion – forgiveness of sins and eternal life forever.
  • It was an unconsidered offer. It was poorly thought through.  To follow Jesus will be uncomfortable – very uncomfortable. After all, Jesus had come into this world to die – upon a shameful cross.

Think!

  1. What is the difference between the cost of salvation, and the cost of discipleship? Consider: 2 Timothy 2:3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.  Luke 9:23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
  2. Have I considered the cost of discipleship? What might that mean for me?  1 Peter 2:21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.

An Urgent Consideration. 9:59-60. 59 Then He said to another, “Follow Me.”But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.”

The second man was directly called by the Lord to follow Him.  So consider:-

  • The apology that is offered. At first glance it looks like a very reasonable request.  But was it?  It may if been, if his father had been actually dead.  Even if the man died within a few days, there would still be a year of mourning.  It was a half-hearted commitments indeed!
  • The answer that is given. It carries a sense of urgency. The matters of eternity are so weighty that they cannot be put off to another day.  Romans 13:11-12  And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.  1 Corinthians 7:29 But this I say, brethren, the time is short, so that from now on even those who have wives should be as though they had none,
  • The actuality that is recognised. There are two types of death! 1 Timothy 5:6  But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives. There are those who are SPIRITUALLY DEAD. Ephesians 2:1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, Ephesians 2:5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),  2 Corinthians 5:14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; Colossians 2:13  And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,
  • The assignment that is set. Jesus had a specific job for this man, – he was to proclaim the gospel.

To hesitate is fatal.  To hesitate to witness to others, could be fatal for those others.

An Ultimate Conversion. 9:61-62 61 And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go andbid them farewell who are at my house.” 62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

There is another, a third case study in following the Lord.  This man was:-

  • Willing but with a divided loyalty. We cannot approach God with a list of terms and conditions. We come to him only on his terms.  Repent and believe!
  • Warning about a deathly lust. He wanted to look back, he wanted to have the possibility to go back to his old life, to have an exit strategy, to keep one foot in the world.
  • Working with a determined look. The ploughman cannot work in a straight line without looking forward.  A man looking back while ploughing would be an unworthy labourer indeed! Hebrews 12: 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. – 12 Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees,13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.   Our Christian life is a wholehearted, permanent commitment to Christ, in grateful response to his saving, atoning death.

 

Bob McEvoy, 31st January 2016

From → Luke

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