Lenten Reader | Day 16

Follow Me

As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” He said to another man, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.” Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

- Luke 9:57-62
A man was going into town for a meeting but knew that getting a parking space would be difficult. So he prayed for God to provide a parking spot and if he did so, then he would follow God with all his heart. After driving around for a few minutes, he sees a parking place and says to God, “Never mind God, I see one.” The operative word here is insincerity. In today’s passage, Luke gives us three examples of insincerity of faith.

In Matthew’s account of today’s passage, he tells us that a large crowd of people were following Jesus and the disciples. It must have seemed very attractive to follow Jesus. Maybe so many people were gathering that it seemed like the thing to do. But whatever their motives, Jesus could see right to their hearts.

To the first man, He says that there will be many hardships. Perhaps this man gave an impulsive offer before he considered what was at stake. To the second man, He tells him to not delay.  It is unlikely that there was a funeral pending. His delay was probably going to be a few years. And the third man is warned not to turn back. It was less about family and more about a lack of commitment. But whatever excuse they gave, Jesus could see the intentions of their hearts and He answered them accordingly. Let us turn our gaze inward and see if there is any insincerity in our response to Jesus’s invitation to follow Him.

- Steve Manchester
Verse to memorize: “Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness.” Joshua 24:14.

Consider this hymn:
I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
No turning back, no turning back.

The world behind me, the cross before me…
Though none go with me, still I will follow…
My cross I’ll carry, till I see Jesus…
No turning back, no turning back.