Rudy and I confess our failings

In today’s YouTube video, Rudy Ross and I discuss how we have failed to fully observe Jesus’ teaching in the last section of Luke 9.

Jesus had three would-be followers, who received hard sayings from Jesus.

Luke 9.57-58As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”

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 first man was challenged to count the cost of following Jesus. A little bit of “Christianity light” was not what Jesus offered.

Josh Monk used to say, “I never saw Jesus hurt anybody’s life.”

I am with Josh. My life turned from “lost” to “found,” when I began following him. Jesus has blessed me in every way.

The cost of giving up a measure of self-will to allow Jesus to guide me has not been a cost at all. Whatever I have given to Jesus has been repaid multiple times over with fullness of life.

My experience causes me to wonder if I have taken a short-cut or the easy way out. Have I played it safe in my discipleship?

I am probably like the man who came to Jesus. Doubtless, he thought that he was a good guy to offer to follow Jesus.

Jesus’ response made him take stock of his life. It should do the same to you and me.

Another Hard Saying

The second man who approached Jesus wanted to place a limit on the level of his discipleship.

Luke 9.59-60 To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”

But Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”

People wonder if this man’s father had died, or if the man wanted to care for him until he died.

Jesus affirmed that the second great commandment was to love your neighbor as yourself. It is logical to believe that Jesus did not advocate the neglect of family.

On the other hand, Jesus made it clear that our devotion to him should exceed our care for the family.

This is one of several instances where Jesus called his followers to be more loyal to him than to family and friends.

People who follow Jesus face a serious balancing act. There are missionaries who are absent from their families for extended periods of time.

There are pastors and lay leaders who risk being a servant to everyone but their own immediate family members.

These are real issues that don’t have easy answers.

The Third Hard Saying

The third man wanted to return home for a brief time to his old life.

Luke 9.61-62Another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.”

Jesus said to him, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Only God knows the number of times when I have looked back to the world’s system.

I praise God that my sin has not disqualified me as a disciple, but it does diminish my relationship with the Lord.

Thank you for allowing so many personal references. I find it is easier to criticize myself than to point a finger at another person.

However, in the words of Billy Sunday, “Don’t pop up your spiritual umbrella and let this message fall on someone else.”

Good News

We are reading these words in the Gospel of Luke. A Gospel is the “good news” of God’s love for us.

Luke doesn’t end with the failure of Jesus’ followers. It ends with the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.

Jesus was crucified for our sins and raised to give us new life. We can come to him, confess our sins, and receive forgiveness. Praise God!

YouTube Video

Rudy Ross began our discussion of these verses by saying that he was uncomfortable speaking about them. He and I spend about 10 minutes talking about the verses and our relationship to them. They can be found on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel.

Please email your prayer request to bsprad49@gmail.com or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.

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