OFFER OF THE KINGDOM pt II – Three Who Would Follow

There are three who would have followed Jesus but were brought up sharply when Jesus revealed the reality of what they were getting into. How Jesus responds to them was somewhat different than what we might expect to hear from those who are called to follow the Lord.

Holes for Homes –

Luke 9:57 – 58:

As they were going along the road, someone said to Him, “I will follow You wherever You go.” And Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”

What has Jesus touched upon? Well, the man, no doubt, who has seen Him to be King of kings and Lord of lords, has recognized that here is the Son of God; here is One who has life. Like the rich young ruler, this man has seen that Jesus has this quality of life that’s not found in Adam. And so he, to join the corps, says, “I’ll go with You Lord, any where You go.” But his expectation is for something different. Jesus said, “You know, the birds of the air have nests and the foxes have holes, and I have no where to lay My head.”

“Oh, I thought it was going to be different, You being who You are.”

And we have heard a gospel that offers what Jesus did not offer. We’re expecting mansions here and now. Perhaps you’re not but many have grown to expect to be able to get wherever He is going in comfort, and being there, prospering, as the world measures prosperity.

Jesus makes it very clear where He is going. And those who would follow Him need to know at the beginning, that where He is going, in terms of this world, the birds and the foxes have it better in terms of a place to lay their head, a nest that they can roost in or a hole that they can crawl in every night. It takes a resolute decision to say, “Okay, I’ll go.”

Leave It To The World –

Now, let’s look at this next man. Jesus speaks to another whom He would like to invite.

And He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” But He said to him, “Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.”

Now, that seems a bit harsh, doesn’t it? I have a suspicion, because of how Jesus answered him that his father didn’t just die. He was probably near death; he was probably going to die. Jesus said, “Follow Me.” And the man said, “I’ll follow You but first let me go and bury my father.”

Now he may have been dead. I don’t know that he was or wasn’t. I suspect that he was not. I suspect that had he died while his son was following Jesus, the Lord would have gone with him to the funeral. It was the nature of Jesus. But Jesus saw something in this man. What did he see in this man?

You, know, there are some things the world can do as well as we can. There are some things that the world can do better than we can. It’s true. There are some things the children of God shouldn’t even put their hand to. There are some things that any dead person can do. Be careful listening to this, there are some things that the world can do as well as we can do. How many of the things that we are doing that any child of the domain of darkness could do just as well? How much of our life is wrapped up in those things that any child of the world could do, perhaps as well or better? How much of our life is entangled in those things? Let the dead deal with the dead. Let those who have not found the reign or the will or the life do those things that any child of the world can do.

“But those things,” Jesus said, “that I’m about are all of those things that they cannot do.”

Isn’t it time that we made a decision to pour our lives into doing those things that the world cannot do and are really waiting on us to do? The surrender of self-reign and self-will brings us into the life of doing those things that the world cannot do. Jesus’ response was, “Let the dead bury their own dead. But as for you…”

The decision that is required to yield up, to surrender our reign and our will, must be a resolute decision to follow Him in the doing of those things the world can’t do and to leave to the world those things that any child of the world can do. I say to you with boldness, not at all with apology, God is calling you and me to surrender all that we are and all that we’ve been entrusted with to the reign and the will of the Father.

God is calling us to follow Him where the world cannot go. God is calling us to a life of following Him that will require of us leaving much. We’ve got to eat; we’ve got to drink; we’ve got to raise our children; we’ve got to sleep somewhere. But let’s not major on those things and leave unattended those things for which we have been called.

What can be more necessary than burying our own father? But even if that act keeps us from doing that for which we’ve been called, it is a distraction that can be cared for by the children of the world. It may not mean what I am implying it means. Jesus said it, “Follow Me; let the dead bury the dead. As for you, go and proclaim the good news of the reign.”

Looking Behind Us –

The third man’s story begins in verse 61.

Another also said, “I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say good-bye to those at home.” But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom (reign) of God.”

We could have picked some easier to swallow illustrations, couldn’t we?

“No one after putting his hand to the plow and looking back…”

How many times have you looked back? I have spent most of my Christian life “back.” Not just looking, but “back,” carrying out the semblance of the Christian life, doing just enough of those things that made me feel like I’m still “in,” but according to this text, “back” is keeping me not “fit” for the reign.

We need to make a resolute decision to turn our backs on our self-reign and to surrender to His. We who by faith believe on Him must allow our self-will to be surrendered to His will. And what is His will? His will is that you be children of the kingdom; that you and I be ambassadors of the kingdom; that you and I be bearers of the light; that you and I be the salt that preserves; that you and I are so surrendered that His life will come forth so much that prisoners would stay in jail just to be with us.

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6 Responses to “OFFER OF THE KINGDOM pt II – Three Who Would Follow”

  1. willohroots Says:

    Well, so much for easy believism.
    What about pick up your cross and follow me? What about the seed must die to bring life?
    What kind of outfit promises trials and tribulations? honest ones.
    I am going through a rough time job wise in my life. thanks for feeding my heart.

  2. Jerald Says:

    You seem to know a lot about trials. I’ll pray that God will show you something special through the ones you are dealing with.

  3. Joe Says:

    Great to see my friend Will open the discussion!

    Like him, I’m going through a rough time with my job…a job that may just vanish sometime soon.

    I’m sick to death of hearing that you can “live your life in total victory.” I can just hear the sickly sweet voice proclaiming that in the infamous YouTube video. “Not just a get by life, but total victory.”

    Thank you, Will, for reminding me that it was Christ that commanded us to take up our crosses daily. Our “victory” isn’t here! Christ tells us that in this world we will have troubles. He makes that very plain. But also encourages us that He has overcome the world to give us hope. Doesn’t mean we have it made here, on this side of heaven.

    Great post.

  4. Jerald Says:

    Joe, thanks for your thoughts.
    When I read your remarks the hymn “Victory in Jesus” came to mind: “There’s victory in Jesus, my Saviour forever”and so on.
    An example of that kind of victory is the Apostle Paul who, although was beset on many sides and endured countless tribulation in his life, he was certainly victorious before he finally met his Savior in person again.
    I’m not one to claim that there is constant happiness in this life of a disciple of Christ because we were never promised that. But we are promised an abundant life through our communion with Jesus.
    Thanks again for your comments. Please come back again.

  5. Witty Sandle Says:

    Recently, our pastor preached a sermon about counting the cost’, the heart of which was pretty much your post. During it he quoted Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Christian Theologian and Pastor who lived and ministered in Nazi German in the Second World war. Bonhoeffer talked about ‘cheap grace’ and ‘costly grace’. Cheap grace he defined as
    “preaching forgiveness without repentance, baptism without discipline, communion without confession, absolution without contrition”. Costly grace recognises that we must die to ourselves.

    In Luke 9:23-24, we read ‘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’.

    And it’s tough and hard. Life is hard and we are not immune as christians. I simply do not understand where all the ‘prosperty teaching’ stuff comes from. Even a cursory glance at the pages of the bible reveals lives full of pain, heartache, betryal, death, torture and goodness knows what else. And this to those who followed God. Yet there is also the fruit and the gifts of the Spirit for those who will take God seriously. It is still the best possible life, as countless persecuted christians across the world will testify. They truly count the cost day in and day out and can still testify and proclaim, in the words of the Chris Tomlin song, ‘how great is our God’.

    Challenging thoughts Jerald. I thank God that there are voices like yours across the water (as well as the others who have commented on this post). I’m afraid we can get a very one sided and stereotypical view of ‘American Christians’ here in the uk which is mainly about all the prosperty, victory and ‘name it claim’ type teaching.
    Blessings

  6. Jerald Says:

    Thank you for your kind words, Witty. I’m also very thankful that John Brown came to my town to teach these precepts that I’m now sharing with the world.

    Tell you pastor that there are others who are preaching this word too. It might encourage him.

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