Dedication to Christ (Luke 9:51-62)

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?” 55 But Jesus turned and rebuked them, 56 and they went to another village.

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 holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

59 He said to another man, “Follow me.”

But the man 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 good-bye to my family.”

62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

Learn it:

            Jesus is beginning to set his focus on Jerusalem.  That is where he knows his ministry will reach its end.  As they are making their way there they stop at a town and the town rejects Jesus.  The disciples respond by asking if they should pray to God to destroy it!  We do not know what Jesus said when he rebuked them, but he did not want to destroy the town.  They just peaceably moved on to the next town. 

            As they were walking Jesus encounters a man and we learn from their discussion about what Jesus requires of a disciple.  We first learn that a disciple will have no home.  We are called to follow Jesus where ever that may be.  Second, we are to prioritize our relationship with Jesus over everything else.  Jesus used the unimaginable example of a son burying his father.  Jesus said that proclaiming the kingdom of God is more important than that!  Thirdly, we must be looking forward to the road ahead of us.  We can’t get consumed looking back at the work we have done.  Jesus is calling his disciples to be 100% dedicated to following him.    

Live it:

            Jesus is reminding us that we are going to be at odds with the world around us.  Some people are going to reject the gospel of Jesus Christ.  How we respond to that rejection is very important.  The disciples wanted to kill them because they rejected Christ.  How did Jesus respond to those nailing him to the cross?  How did Stephen respond to those that were stoning him?  They interceded on behalf of their enemies that God would forgive them.  How would you respond if someone does not agree with your beliefs?  How can you respond graciously?

            For us to respond graciously, we must have our eyes have to be fixed on Christ.  He must be the priority in our lives.  Following Christ must be above our comfort, our family, and our desires.  He is number one.  Anything else will not satisfy us and will lead to frustrations in our lives.  Are you completely dedicated to proclaiming the kingdom of God?  We proclaim the kingdom of God not just by words but by works as well.    

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