Today’s readings… (2 Kings 24), (2 Kings 25), (Ezekiel 13), (Luke 9)

The finish of today’s chapter in Luke is about three different people and the reasons they gave for delaying putting into practice their decision to follow Jesus. “I will follow you wherever you go” they had said.  It had been exciting to follow Jesus, amazing things had been happening, food had been provided – miraculously – in the wilderness.
It was OK to follow Jesus if he was going to see everything was provided, places to ‘lay your head’ – but he then said to the first person –that was not going to be the case!
‘Let me first go and bury my father’ said another (9 v.59).   Maybe his father was very elderly, but even if he had just died, there would be more than a few days delay; one can imagine there would then be a lot of family responsibilities to be taken care of as a result of the death!  But others can do that, just as others carried on the fishing, of “the hired servants” did it when the disciples who had been fishermen left their boats to follow Jesus.  The words, “Let the dead bury their own dead” [v.60]  remind us of Paul’s words to Timothy, advice to him in guiding the believers at Ephesus, “she (or he) who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives.” [1 Tim. 5 v.6]
A third said, ‘I will follow you Lord, but let me first say farewell to those in my home” (v.61) How many times do people say, “Yes – and then – BUT …” So the lesson is that if personal considerations come first – their discipleship is delayed or ineffective. Jesus does not want that kind of disciple!  Note the last verse of the chapter, “No one who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom.”  You cannot plough a straight and useful furrow if you are looking back.
So if we have been baptised or are thinking of baptism let us realize the kind of commitment Jesus expects of us. But let us think positively, as Jesus did!  His mind was focussed on “the joy that was set before him … ” [Heb. 12 v.2] Two verses further on (into tomorrow’s chapter) comes Jesus’ words about the harvest labourers being few!  But true labourers for the Lord have their priorities in the right order, may you be one of them..

 

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