Friday, November 20, 2020

2020.11.20 Hopewell @Home ▫ Luke 9:57–62

Read Luke 9:57–62

Questions from the Scripture text: Where were they journeying (Luke 9:57, cf. Luke 9:51)? What did someone say to Him? What did Jesus say foxes and birds have (Luke 9:58)? What does Jesus call Himself? What does He not have? Who initiates the interaction in Luke 9:59? What does He say to do? What does the man answer? How does Jesus respond to this request (Luke 9:60)? How does He now describe what following Him means for the man to do? What does another say (Luke 9:61)? But what does he want to do first? What does Jesus call this request (Luke 9:62)? What does He say about the one making it?

The Lord Jesus has set His face to Jerusalem (cf. Luke 9:51Luke 9:53). The well-sounding words of followers in Luke 9:57Luke 9:61 probably take into account that He is going to confront trouble, but not that He is going to be crucified. It is easy to have a much nobler idea of what it will be like to follow Christ. But following Jesus often means hardship. One may be called to go without even basic comforts that animals enjoy.

And, following Jesus sometimes means being called to immediate, inconvenient obedience. In the parallel passage in Matthew, Jesus has already given the command to depart in Matthew 8:18. So, the “request” in Luke 9:59b is really an excuse for disobedience. The fact that it is “the dead” who will do the burying in Luke 9:60 implies that spiritual death is in view there. So, it may well be that another reason why these two things are in conflict is that the father from Luke 9:59 has elected not to follow Christ. In either case, it is helpful to note that the call in Luke 9:60 is not the general call to be a Christian but a specific call to a preaching ministry.

Finally, following Jesus means prioritizing faithfulness over pleasantries. It doesn’t mean being impolite, but it sometimes does mean giving up participation in social circles. It’s significant that Jesus compares belonging to the kingdom as “putting the hand to the plow.” The Christian life is hard work, and sometimes being part of this “working class’ means not getting to be as social as the world expects of us.

Following Jesus is only glamorous if you consider Jesus Himself, and serving Him, to be glamorous.

What have you given up to follow Jesus? What are you willing to give up? What do you need to give up?

Suggested songs: ARP45A “My Heart Is Greatly Stirred” or TPH375 “All Hail the Power of Jesus’s Name”

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