When we read the Gospels, we see Jesus doing His best to tell people the good news that the kingdom of God was near.
But we also see Him saying and doing things that seem to discourage others from following Him.
This is obvious in Luke 9:57-62
57 As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 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.”
Jesus tells this person to prepare for DISCOMFORT. Yes, there are blessings in following Jesus, but there will also be troubles.
59 To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 60 And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
Jesus tells this person to follow without DELAY. There is a time element to following Jesus. As my parents always told me growing up, “Delayed obedience is disobedience.”
61 Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” 62 Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
To the third person, Jesus says His followers cannot have DISTRACTIONS. Following Jesus is an exclusive relationship and He doesn’t tolerate competition.
It’s tough to hear this, but it’s good to know that Jesus doesn’t do false advertising. He lets us know what following Him involves.
The best news is that He doesn’t ask us to do anything more than what He did for us. We can serve a God who demands we go all in for Him, but only after He went all in for us first. (Some older blogs that illustrate this: 1, 2, 3)