Luke 9:57-58 ESV
“As 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.’”
It is one thing to claim that you will do something, and it is entirely a different thing if you actually do it. Like Jesus said that not everyone who says to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter into the kingdom of heaven, but only the one doing the will of the Father who is in heaven. And sometimes we may be quick to make a profession of something but then never follow through.
Some people make professions of intention to follow Jesus with their lives without forethought to what that actually means, like in the Parable of the Sower. They may feel all emotional, but then when the reality sets in as to what that actually means, they dessert the faith, like many followers of Jesus did to him when they felt that his teaching was too hard.
So, the point of this is that we need to know in advance that there is a cost to following Jesus. Yes, his grace provides salvation to us as a free gift, meaning we did nothing to earn or to deserve such a great salvation, and he is the one who paid the price of his blood shed on a cross in order that we might be delivered from our bondage to sin and walk in his holiness.
But we need to know that the free gift is that we can now die with Christ to sin and live to him and to his righteousness in his power because of what he did for us on that cross. We can live in freedom from addiction to sin and we can now walk in holiness and in moral purity free from the control of sin over our lives. And if we choose not to, then we don’t have salvation from sin.
Luke 9:59-60 ESV
“To another he said, ‘Follow me.’ But he said, ‘Lord, let me first go and bury my father.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.’”
And then there are people who just make excuses for why they are not following Jesus Christ with their lives, and for why they are still living in addiction to sin and not in spiritual freedom and wholeness. And not only are they still caught in a sin cycle, but they repeat the same excuses over and over again, too, for why they are still addicted and for why they are not free.
They will claim ignorance, as though they did not know something that they did know, and that they have known a long time, and some of them have even taught to others. But that is just manipulation. It is playing mind games, and it is just stall methods for why they are still where they are and for why they have not moved forward.
So, if you make excuses for why you are not following Jesus with your life and/or for why you are still living in addiction to sin, that shows a lack of desire to follow the Lord. That shows that your heart is not really in it in the first place. But why make excuses if you do not intend to follow the Lord? Why the stall tactics? Why act as though it is your intention when it isn’t?
Perhaps you want to give the impression that you are moving that direction so it looks like that is your intention. For, perhaps you are trying to look good to others who you are trying to impress with your spirituality. And perhaps you are putting on a show of righteousness to cover up sin to make others think you are righteous while you are still living in sin.
Luke 9:61-62 ESV
“Yet another 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 his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.’”
Again, making excuses, and in this case coupled with lip service only, false professions of faith and of desire to follow Jesus, but then looking for a way to delay what the person knows needs to happen. So putting the hand to the plow has to do with making a profession of faith in Jesus Christ but then going right back to how one lived before, i.e. returning to the sin.
And then the Lord is showing me another aspect of this, as well. The picture he is putting in my mind is of someone walking ahead of Jesus, in front of him, and sinning against the Lord. His back, thus, is to Jesus, and so he is obviously not following the Lord, but he is ignoring, disdaining, refusing, disregarding and forsaking the Lord to go his own way, instead.
He is leading the charge on his own, which has to do with pride and with a “my do it” mindset. He is operating in the flesh, and not in the Spirit, going his own way, figuring it out for himself, ignoring the Lord and his counsel, and he may be, as well, opposing Jesus and his gospel and plotting evil against the Lord and against his servants who are teaching the true gospel.
But another thought came to mind, and that of Judas. Judas left Jesus and went before him and he sold him out, so this can also have to do with betrayal, sinning ahead of Jesus, or in this case, sinning ahead of what Jesus is doing in this world in getting out his gospel to people before his return so that many will be saved. Since this person put his hand to the plow, giving the impression he was following Jesus, but then he looked back, the picture can be one of betrayal, of one who deserts the faith and then opposes it.
And another thought with this illustration is of someone committing premeditated sin, i.e. ahead of the Lord, like Judas did. It has to do with plotting evil in advance in disdain of the Lord knowing full well that one is doing evil against God and against the Lord’s servants, too, and against other people. It is the ultimate in hate for it is not spontaneous sin but rather sin that is planned out in advance in order to harm others.
And the Lord’s response to this is that if we make a claim of him as Lord and Savior, giving the impression of intention to follow him, but then we turn right around and go back to our sin, to what is familiar (like family) while making excuses for why we are not yet following the Lord and for why we are still living in sin, we are not fit for the kingdom of God, and we will not inherit eternal life with the Lord, no matter what we profess with our lips.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15]
So, this is a prayer for their salvation, for they need to surrender their hearts and lives to Jesus Christ before it is too late and then they are out of excuses. For not one of us knows if we have tomorrow.
Songwriter: Andrew Lloyd-Webber
Who takes away the sins of the world
Qui tollis peccata mundi
Give them rest, grant them rest
Dona eis requiem, dona eis requiem
Lamb of God
Who takes away the sins of the world
Qui tollis peccata mundi
Grant them eternal rest
Dona eis requiem
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