ESOCS Devotional 4 April 2023
MEMORY VERSE: “But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:62
TEXT: LUKE 9:51–62
51 Now when the time was almost come for Jesus to be received up [to heaven], He steadfastly and determinedly set His face to go to Jerusalem.
52 And He sent messengers before Him; and they reached and entered a Samaritan village to make [things] ready for Him;
53 But [the people] would not welcome or receive or accept Him, because His face was [set as if He was] going to Jerusalem.
54 And when His disciples James and John observed this, they said, Lord, do You wish us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, [a]even as Elijah did?
55 But He turned and rebuked and severely censured them. [b]He said, You do not know of what sort of spirit you are,
56 For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them [c][from the penalty of eternal death]. And they journeyed on to another village.
57 And it occurred that as they were going along the road, a man said to Him, Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.
58 And Jesus told him, Foxes have lurking holes and the birds of the air have roosts and nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.
60 But Jesus said to him, Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and publish abroad [f]throughout all regions the kingdom of God.
61 Another also said, I will follow You, Lord, and become Your disciple and side with Your party; but let me first say good-bye to those at my home.
It is not every follower of Christ that has achieved greatly in the kingdom service. Many have achieved minimally, some have completely failed, whereas there are those who have excelled and made giant strides and great impact in the ministry. The difference is in the level of commitment and the extent of sacrifice one is ready to make in following Christ. In this text, we see Christ’ interaction with three persons that represent three necessary conditions for following Christ and three categories of persons we should not be, if we want to follow Christ and be effective in the ministry. These are people who place premium on the following:
- Worldly comfort and guarantee of the future; at least minimal comfort – (vv. 57 – 58)
There are basic needs that man requires in his passage on earth. These basic needs resolve the primary problems of food, shelter, and security; without them life will be hard and very difficult. It is the need to meet this needs that men work for; they strive for wealth, affluence, and power to guarantee the continuous flow of the necessary resources that will ensure that these needs are met. Man’s life struggles revolve around this. Christ teaches us in His answer to the first man, that these are non-issues to Him and everyone who will follow Him must be ready to give up what others consider as necessities. The singular thing that matters in the kingdom business is the kingdom business and anyone whose purpose in life is to do well on earth and is concerned with achieving success as the world defines it will not be able to follow Christ. You must be willing to sacrifice everything even life itself to follow Christ as you should.
- Concern for duties and responsibilities to family
This category of people wants to follow Christ or answer His call but at a convenient time. They want to wait a little while to fulfill some family duties or finish some responsibilities and attend to certain things they consider very important before following Christ. The point is that the kingdom of God and its proclamation is so important that it cannot wait. His answer, “Let the dead bury their dead,” signifies that the spiritually dead can be concerned with the issues that make men hesitate to follow Christ. But he that really wants to follow Christ must do so without delay.
- What do you consider the difference between the early Apostles and many of today’s followers of Christ? List as many as you can.
- What will you sincerely be willing to give up in order to follow Christ?
- Lord, help me overcome the world and its pull. Give me the grace to love you as I ought and to go with you all the way, not counting the cost. Amen.
FURTHER READING: 2 Samuel 17:15-23; Jeremiah 31:1-14; Matthew 20:1-14; 26:14-29
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ESOCS Devotional 4 April 2023