Jesus First | Luke 9:57-62

Jesus First | Luke 9:57-62

Introduction

Luke 9:57-62 NKJV  Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.”  (58)  And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”  (59)  Then He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”  (60)  Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.”  (61)  And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.”  (62)  But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

  • If you recognize this scripture, good! It’s the same scripture from last week!
    • Last week I preached the message “Me First!” about how so many of us are willing to follow Jesus, but we have our own needs to take care of first.
    • There was these three examples, right, that translated into three sermon points…
      • First there was the main that said I will follow you!
      • But Jesus reminded him that following him may not always be comfortable…
        • That translated to the point “Me First! I need to be comfortable”
      • Then there was the man who said “I will follow you, but let me first burry my father…” He was saying he had a very important job that needed to be done, in this case taking care of his aging father.
        • That translated to the point “Me First! I have a job to finish”
      • Finally there was the man who said “Let me first say good bye to my friends and family” Suggesting that our relationship needs come before Christ.
        • This translated to the point “Me First! I need to care for My Family and Friends
  • I thought it was a pretty good sermon, but as I was debriefing with my wife she couldn’t shake the feeling that the sermon came off as too harsh.
    • I asked “How do you preach “No you can’t bury your father, let the dead bury the dead” without coming off harsh, it was a pretty harsh thing for Jesus to say!”
    • Amanda agreed, but still that feeling persisted…
    • And over the years I have learned to trust my wife, she is a pretty smart cookie… so I started to pray about it…
  • Then the Lord showed me, clear as day, how to preach these verses without being harsh.
  • Now don’t get me wrong, the Lord wasn’t rebuking me, and I think the sermon last week was fire, I know some people needed to hear that… but I think some people need to hear the flip side too.

Bring Up Title Slide

  • So last week the sermon was “Me First”… this week the sermon is “Jesus First”
  • If our heart is Jesus first… if we are all in with Jesus… if we will go with Jesus wherever He goes… the beauty of that is that He will take care of everything else. Every stress, every anxiety, every pressure, every job… If we trust Jesus with it, He will take care of it, He will guide us, He will relieve us.
  • I am going to tell you what I am talking about. But first, let’s pray!

PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY

Point One – Jesus First! He Comforts Us

Luke 9:57 NKJV  Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.”  

  • This is the heart we are supposed to have. “LORD” this man says… that word means so much, that title means so much… it means King, Ruler, Advisor, Director… It means what You say goes…
  • “Lord, I will follow you wherever you go’.
    • Folk’s Christianity is a journey, we are going with Jesus!
    • If we want to stay in Jesus we must go WITH Jesus… because Jesus just doesn’t sit still, He has work to do. There are lost to be saved.
  • So this man says “Lord I will go with you wherever! If you go there, then I am going…” And look how Jesus responds.

Luke 9:58 NKJV  And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”

  • Now when I preached on this last I talked about the clearest reading of this, that Jesus was either rebuking or warning this man that following Jesus means giving up the comforts we are so used to… a home, a bed, whatever…
    • And I think that is probably what was the intent of this response…
    • But as I prayed I realized there is more too this… and I want to honor the scripture by flushing this whole thing out…
  • You see I think there is a secondary thing that Jesus was suggesting here… and maybe this man didn’t know it, but we with the fullness of scripture can know.
  • YES! If you are committed to following Jesus, if you are all in, you must be committed to giving up all earthly comforts…
    • But, hear this, just because you are giving up WORDLY comfort does not mean you are giving up comfort… you see, you are exchanging them for something much better.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NKJV  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,  (4)  who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

  • WE SERVE THE GOD OF ALL COMFORT! HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!!!
    • He comforts us in our tribulation.
    • Yes there will be tribulation when following Jesus… BUT JESUS IS THERE TO COMFORT US!
    • And if I have to chose between the comfort of my bed and the comfort of my Jesus then I chose MY JESUS every time!

Psalms 23:4 NKJV  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

  • If you are all in… if you are going to journey with Jesus… then He may very well take you through the Valley of the Shadow of Death.
    • BUT JESUS IS THERE WITH US TO COMFORT US!
      • Foxes have their holes, and birds have there nests… but here I am in the Valley of the Shadow of Death with no place to lay my head…
      • But that’s ok, because Jesus is with me, and His rod and staff, they comfort me… far more than a hole comforts a fox or a nest comforts a bird does my Jesus comfort me! Amen?!

Point Two – Jesus First! He Will Give You Rest

Luke 9:59 NKJV  Then He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”

  • Now we get into the extremes of following Jesus.
    • We talked about this last week… this man WANTS to follow Jesus, but he has this task to finish first.
    • A VERY IMPORTANT TASK, MIND YOU.
    • This phrase, “Let me go burry my father first” most likely means that his father is very old and dying, and that he needs to take care of his father in his final year or so of life.
      • Now none of us would argue with this man if he said this to us. We would all say “Yes, go take care of your father! Let us pray for you brother! Go and take care of him, what a great son you are!”
    • But look how Jesus responds!

Luke 9:60 NKJV  Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.”

  • Woah! Jesus, tone it down bro! Don’t you know, Jesus, what 1 Timothy 5:8 says?

1 Timothy 5:8 NKJV  But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

  • Of course Jesus knows what 1 Timothy 5:8 says, He wrote it!
    • So how then could Jesus so clearly contradict scripture?
    • BECAUSE HE IS NOT CONTRIDICTING SCRIPTURE!
  • How shallow of us to assume that Jesus would abandon this man’s father just because this man is following Christ.
    • Jesus knew about the man’s father when He called the man!
  • Let’s just be real… 99.9 percent of the time, if you are following Jesus He is going to lead you right back to your father to bury him. But there will be those times, such as these, where Jesus says “No, not for you child… you preach the Word of God, let the dead bury the dead”.
    • What do we do with that? Where do we find grace in that statement? Where is the love, the compassion, the understanding…
  • Honestly I think it has been there the whole time, and I don’t think we have to look hard.
    • The heart of this problem is not “Family” but is hard and important work.
    • Anyone who has taken care of an aging family member can attest, I am sure, that it is hard work. It is tiring work. Sometimes it feels like it’s thankless work…
      • BUT IT’S IMPORTANT WORK. IT’S AN IMPORTANT JOB! AND I JUST CAN’T ABANDON IT! I have been working so hard at it, and you want me to just leave it behind.
      • It doesn’t have to be a dying father. It could be a career, an education, raising children, maybe even running a ministry that you worked so hard to plant.
    • What do you do when Jesus says, in those rare and extreme times, when Jesus says “Leave it behind, and follow me”.
  • I will tell you what you do, you rejoice! Because Jesus is offering you rest.
    • Jesus is saying “Let me take care of that… what ever that job is, what ever that hard task is… just give it to Me, I will take care of it, just follow Me.
    • “I have everything else under control, just follow Me.”
  • And I am not trying to eisegete this Scripture to make it fluffy and nice, I think Jesus is intentionally being harsh to a man who is being halfhearted in following Christ.
  • But what I am saying is that we, who have the whole testimony of Scripture, we who Know the character of Christ, can look at this situation and rejoice, because we can trust Jesus to take care of it all and give us rest.

Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV  Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  (29)  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  (30)  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

  • Jesus says “come to me all you who labor and I will give you rest”
    • Now wait a minute, that means you have to… you know… stop laboring when you come to Christ.
    • You have to accept the rest that Jesus is giving.
    • If you are going to journey with Jesus, you have to be ok with Him carrying the load.
      • That means giving up control. That means trusting Jesus to take care of your dying father, take care of your education, take care of your kids even if you move them with you to the heart of the Amazon rainforest.
      • It means giving up control and saying “Lord I trust you”.
    • And the beautiful result of that is rest.

Psalms 23:2 NKJV  He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.

  • Follow Him, and He will lead you beside still waters.

Point Three- Jesus First! He Will Make You Belong

Luke 9:61 NKJV  And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.”

  • Again a reasonable request, maybe not as extreme as “let me first bury my father”… but still reasonable.
    • All he is asking Jesus is “let me say goodbye to my friends and my family first”.
  • Look, if we are honest, I think we would all say that we want to belong. We want to belong to something, to someone.
    • We want to have a family that loves us.
    • We want to have friends that care for us.
    • And most of us work VERY HARD to make sure that we protect those circles that we belong too.
      • So it makes since that when Jesus says “I am going to radically change you, your life, and everything in it” that you would naturally want to protect those circles from that change. You don’t want to be rude to your friends and family just because you are following Jesus now.
  • But Jesus responds

Luke 9:62 NKJV  But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

  • What’s Jesus saying, He is saying “You are either all in or you are all out… even if it means losing your friends and family”.
    • And that’s what I preached last week, and that’s a hard thing to hear… Jesus didn’t come to bring peace but a sword, even dividing families.
  • But again, there is so much grace in this too.
    • Jesus knows your needs. You were created to be a social creature, The first thing that wasn’t good in all of creation was that Adam was alone.
    • God created a family for him.
    • We are social creatures; we are intended to socialize with each other and with God.
    • But we were never intended to belong to cliques… this is MY FAMILY these are MY FRIENDS and you can’t mess with it!
    • NO, we are intended to be ONE even as Jesus and the Father are One.
  • And the beauty of trusting Jesus with your social needs is that He will make you belong in a heavenly way.

John 15:12-15 NKJV  This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.  (13)  Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.  (14)  You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.  (15)  No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.

  • You know I always hate it when people say Jesus is a friend of sinners.
    • I know the heart is good behind their statement… but the scripture they are quoting is actually an insult to Jesus.
    • The pharisees are insulting him and call Him a drunk and a friend of sinners.
    • Now to be clear, Jesus LOVES sinners, so much that He died for them! I was one of those sinners He died for amen.
      • But He never calls them friend. That’s a term He reserves for those who do what He says.

John 15:14-15 NKJV  You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.  (15)  No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.

  • Friend is an HONORED Title.
    • Yes we may have to give up our worldly friendships… but we are trading it for a friendship with Jesus.
  • And that goes for family too.

Matthew 12:50 NKJV  For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.”

  • That’s Jesus speaking! We are HIS FAMILY if we are born again.
    • And if that is you, if you are born again… then Ephesians 2:19 speaks directly to you.

Ephesians 2:19 NKJV  Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,

  • If you are a member of Christ, then you are a member of His household. We are family together.
  • BUT WHAT ABOUT MY EARTHYLY FAMILY SHOULD I JUST LEAVE THEM BEHIND?
    • No, but you should desire with fervency that they join your HEAVENLY family. Because if they don’t then what good is that relationship in eternity?
  • YOU MUST LOOK AT YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST AND YOUR CHURCH FAMILY WITH HIGHER REGARD THAN YOUR BLOOD FAMILY.
    • Why? Because if you don’t then you will lose all fervency, you will lose all passion, for bringing them to Christ, to bringing them to the higher family, the heavenly family.

Conclusion

  • In conclusion I want to read that last verse from Luke 9 again…

Luke 9:62 NKJV  But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

  • Remember lot’s wife? She looked back, didn’t she?
    • I don’t know why she looked back, but she did… and she was found unfit.
    • Maybe she missed her hometown.
    • Maybe she was curious to see if God really was destroying it with fire and brimstone…
    • Maybe she just wanted one more glance of her old life to say goodbye.
  • I don’t know why, but she looked back, and I am not going to be found looking back.
  • The cross before me, the world behind me… no turning back.
  • AND HOW WONDERFUL TO NEVER HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT WHAT’S IN YOUR REVIEW MIRROR.
    • The beauty of pilgrimaging with Christ, is that you don’t have to look back, you don’t need to look back, Christ has it all under control.
      • Our comfort, our rest… He has it under control.
      • Our work, our importance, our responsibilities… He has it under control.
      • Our relationships, our friendships, our family… He has it under control. Just go with Him.

•             The cross before me, the world behind me… no turning back.

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