Luke 8 -- 9
Jesus put the sincerity of would-be disciples to the test when a certain man said to Him, Lord, I will follow You wherever You go. And Jesus said to him, Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head (Luke 9:57-58). Jesus pointed out to this man that he could expect to face many hardships if he chose to follow Him. Jesus was also saying that He was not attached to any earthly possessions, nor could His followers expect any guarantee of earthly resources. The foxes are the clever ones and the birds of the air are the worldly.
Like the rich young ruler, this man was far above average. Through Matthew we learn that he held the position of a scribe (Matthew 8:19-20). His moral and religious life were above reproach. Yet, he is just another example of how wealth, position, or popularity often hinder those who know in their hearts that Christ should be Lord and Master of their lives, but consider the cost too high.
Another also said, Lord, I will follow You; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are . . . at my house. And Jesus said to him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back (to the things left behind or to other attractions), is fit for the Kingdom of God (Luke 9:61-62). Our Lord did not welcome volunteers who were only willing to join Him on their own terms; serving Christ is a lifetime commitment. Love dictated the sternness of the words of our Lord. He was not in the midst of a membership drive, nor was He counting converts to establish His popularity.
Self-seekers and compromisers are deceived into believing that there will be a more convenient time that they can choose to follow the Lord. Their excuses reveal divided hearts where other things are given equal or even higher priority than Christ. They expose an unwillingness to submit to the authority of Jesus and pay the price of His high calling. They lack the "single eye" of devotion to Christ where, by comparison, all else in this world is of little importance.
The cost of discipleship keeps many from fulfilling the highest spiritual achievements. Many fail to put Christ first in their daily decisions but all who do discover that the satisfaction of self-denial far exceeds fleeting earthly rewards. Each of us needs to consider if there is someone in our life or something in our heart that keeps us from giving first place to Christ, His Word, and His will.
Our Lord calls us to communicate His Gospel to a world lost in sin. The more carefully we read His Word and listen to the Holy Spirit, the more worldly ambitions and human standards fade into insignificance.
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your Heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. But seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matthew 6:31-33).
For Luke 8:10: See Isa. 6:9.
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Memory Verse for the Week: