The end of today’s chapter in Luke is about three different people and why they delayed 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 happened, miracles were performed. It was OK to follow Jesus if he was to provide everything, places to ‘lay your head’ and food for hungry stomachs – so though the first, but Jesus said that was not going to be the case!
‘Let me first go and bury my father’ said another (9:59). Maybe his father was very elderly rather than had just died, so there would be more than a few days delay. Could others take care of him, just as there were others who carried on the fishing when the disciples left their boats to follow Jesus. The words, “Let the dead bury their own dead” (verse 60). remind us of Paul’s words to Timothy; “she who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives” (1 Timothy 5:6).
A third said, ‘I will follow you Lord, but let me first say farewell to those in my home” (verse 61). How many times do people say, “Yes, but …” So the lesson is that if personal considerations come first, discipleship is delayed or becomes ineffective. Jesus does not want that kind of disciple! “No one who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom”. You cannot plough a straight furrow if you are looking back.
Let us realize the kind of commitment Jesus expects, but let us keep our eyes looking forward. Jesus’ mind was focused on “the joy that was set before him …” (Hebrews 12:2).