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.”
- This morning we get to talk about three of the
most common excuses for why people fail to serve Jesus Christ as Lord.
- People who WANT to follow Him.
- People who publicly confess Him as Lord.
- People who cry out to Him “Let me follow you”.
- But, non-the-less, these are people who are not all in, they are not fully committed, they have hindrances to following Jesus 100%.
- If you remember, last week we talked about how you are either completely for Jesus or you are completely against Jesus.
- FOR OR AGAINST, there is no fence sitting!
- Now Jesus takes that concept and He shows us a
very personal application of it…
- He applies this concept to people who would be followers of Him.
- In the same way that those in the world are either for me or against me, I look at you and say you have to chose are you for me or against me… there are no part time disciples… you are either all in or you are all out.
- So Jesus gives us three examples of would-be-followers who all have the same excuse, but applied to three different areas.
- They all have the same excuse for why that can’t give 100% to Jesus… what’s the excuse?
Bring Up Title Slide
- ME FIRST!
- Yeah, I will follow you Lord… but ME FIRST.
- Yes I will give to you Jesus… BUT ME FIRST.
- Yes I will worship you Christ… BUT ME FIRST.
- ME FIRST, Then Jesus.
- And Jesus’ response to this is “No no no, it’s either all Jesus, none of you, or no Jesus at all”.
- Let’s talk about that…
PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY
Point One – Me First! I need to be comfortable!
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.”
- A man comes to Jesus and says “I will follow you
wherever you go, Jesus!”
- PRAISE GOD! What a wonderful commitment to make to Christ! This church family is the beginning of being born again.
- He is confessing Jesus as Lord. He is saying “I will do whatever you say” just lead me, and I will follow.
- What bad could come from this… What rebuke could possibly be offered to this man?
- Well Jesus knows the heart of the man… and it is apparent in the way 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.”
- What you will notice as you read through the New
Testament, church, especially the Gospels, is that Jesus likes to use extremes
to make a point. Because if it is true in the extreme situation it is true in
the moderate situation.
- For example Jesus says in Matthew 5:29 that if
your eye causes you to sin that you should pluck it out, because it is better
to enter heaven with one eye then hell with both eyes.
- Now if that is the case, then it is pretty easy to assume that if Netflix causes you to sin you should cancel your subscription.
- The point is, it is easy to take an extreme example and apply it to any area of life.
- For example Jesus says in Matthew 5:29 that if your eye causes you to sin that you should pluck it out, because it is better to enter heaven with one eye then hell with both eyes.
- And that is the situation we have here. A man says he will follow Jesus wherever… and Jesus takes it to the full extreme to see if this man really means it.
- Jesus says “Foxes have holes and birds have
nests… but not me, I have nowhere to lay my head”.
- Jesus is taking it to the extreme… he is saying “Every creature in Creation has a place to call home… are you willing to follow me even if it means not having a home, not having a pillow, not having comfort… Are you willing to follow me even if it means giving up ALL the comforts you are used to?!”
- Because, church, you are either all in or you
are all out.
- Is Jesus asking you to sell your home and be homeless for Him? Of course not…
- But what He is saying is that you better be prepared to do so, should He ask that of you.
- You better be all in, and if He calls you there should be no material comfort that should slow you down from saying “Yes Lord, Here I am, send me! I will go!
- You know, Jesus did it for us, didn’t He? He had all the wealth and comfort of heaven, sitting on His heavenly thrown. He gave it all up to come to earth to be born in a manger, to ride on a donkey, to die on a cross… He gave it all up for us, are we willing to do it for Him?
2 Corinthians 8:9 NKJV For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.
Point Two – Me First! I Need to Finish my Job!
Luke 9:59 NKJV Then He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”
- Here we see a very reasonable request, don’t we?
- Jesus tells a man to follow Him, and the man says “Sure Jesus, no problem, but I have a job to finish first”.
- “You see my father is dying, and it is MY JOB to take care of him, it is my job to watch over him until he passes. Then, once he has passed, and once the funeral is over, then I will be free to follow you.
- But I want you to look at the verse one more time to see what he is saying… he literally says “Me First!”
- “Lord, let ME
FIRST go and bury my father”
- “I will follow you, but I got’s something that I got’s to finish first!”
- How does Jesus respond… with pretty strong rebuke…
Luke 9:60 NKJV Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.”
- Again, Jesus is using extremes.
- Jesus is not saying that it is somehow wrong to take care of your family, in fact scripture says that a man who neglects to take care of his family is worse than an unbeliever…
- But what Jesus is saying is that there is NO TASK so important that it takes precedence over following Christ.
- He is using an extream here… because one of the most important tasks of a human being is to take care of their aging and dying parents… and if even THAT task is not important enough to put of following Christ… then what task is?
- But Lord, let me first get this promotion at work, then I will follow you.
- But Lord, let me first graduate from college, then I will follow you.
- But Lord, let me first get married, then I will follow you.
- But Lord, let me first finish paying off my
house, then I will follow you.
- Let me
ask you church, let’s just get real. If Jesus told you TODAY, and YOU KNEW IT
WAS HIM, if He asked you today to leave everything behind and move to the heart
of the Amazon Rainforest to preach the gospel.
- You have to leave today! What excuses pop up in your mind… what would hinder you from going?
- What would you put before following Christ?
- We all have something, let’s give it to Jesus, amen?!
- Let me ask you church, let’s just get real. If Jesus told you TODAY, and YOU KNEW IT WAS HIM, if He asked you today to leave everything behind and move to the heart of the Amazon Rainforest to preach the gospel.
2 Timothy 2:4 ESV No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.
- If you are an enlisted solider fighting in
Afghanistan, and you find out your father is doing… you apply for leave, and
hopefully you get it.
- But there might be a battle going on… there might be a situation you don’t know about… in some instances, you might not get that leave…
- What do you do in that situation? You either obey your commanding officer, or you abandon your post and go AWOL.
- Now if people who are in the military understand
this concept, then how much more should we who have signed up in the Lord’s
army, how much more should we who are in a Spiritual Battle understand this
- This is serious business, church, following Christ means fighting the good fight… souls are at stake, eternity is at stake… are we willing to follow Jesus NO MATTER WHAT or are we going to go AWOL?
- The fact is, and it is very simple, there is NO
EXCUSE that can be given for why we should not fully obey and follow Christ….
- If even taking care of our dying parents is not an excuse… then what excuse can we make?
Point Three- Me First! I Need to Care for My Family and Friends!
- Finally, point three… ME FIRST! I need to care for my family and friends!
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.”
- “Lord I will follow You! You are my Lord and my King! But… but me first… you see I have to say goodbye to all my friends and family… maybe have a going away party… get some good selfies… you know, so they don’t worry about me. I mean, I can’t just leave them!”
- SURE YOU CAN! You absolutely can just leave
them, if that’s what Christ asks you to do. Does He not love them, does He not
care for them, does He not oversee them like He does you and me?
- What you are really saying is “I know better Jesus… I know better what my friends and family needs. I know there emotional needs better then you, so let me just go take care of them then I will follow you.
- When God called Amanda and I to Cedar Rapids we
didn’t know a single person in Iowa. We literally left all of our friends and
- Our son and daughter are growing up with their grandparents thousands of miles away.
- Is that hard? Absolutely. Does God know best?! You bet ya!
- Because God has provided for Hannah and Ezra three brothers named Noah, Kaleb, and Joshua. He has provided uncle Dustin and Uncle Kris, and Uncle Moses. Aunt Shana and Aunt Wendy… Our kids even have a grandparent here… Papa Reggie.
- God has provided family in all of you, so much
so that I can’t imagine being asked to leave this place!
- GOD KNOWS BEST!
- So this man says “Yes I will follow you, but let me say my farewells” and this is how 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.”
- Apparently, as I have read, plowing is a job
that requires your full attention. If you are distracted you are liable to do a
bad job and create bumps and divots in the ground that will make it unfit for
- If you are turning your head back, if you aren’t paying attention, if you are focused on other business, you will fail at the task at hand.
- Jesus is saying “I have a job for you, it is to work the ground, to sow some seeds, to bring in a spiritual harvest… stop focusing on YOURSELF and your cares and desires because in so doing you are messing up the task that I have put before you!”
- “If you can’t focus on the task of prepping the
soil so seed can be planted… THEN YOU ARE NOT EVEN FIT FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD!”
- Church family is important… and God gave you your family to minister too… but it should never be an excuse not serve Jesus whole heartedly.
- Yet I hear it all the time “Jesus called me to
do this calling… but my kids are still in school”.
- Did Jesus not know your Kid’s where in school when He called you to that ministry?
- IF God wanted you to wait until your kids
graduated from college for you to be a missionary, then He would have waited
for your Kids to graduate from college to call you in the first place!
- If God wanted to wait until you were married for you to be an effective evangelist then God would have waited until you were married to call you to be an evangelist.
- It’s not like God is up there thinking “Oh yeah, I forgot you have friends and a family to think about”
- Further, it is not like God DOESN’T CARE about
your friends and family. He cares so much about them… He cares about them more
than you do!
- In fact, someone needs to hear this this morning…. In fact, maybe YOU LEAVING is exactly what your friends need to grow in Christ!
- Trust Jesus… that’s what it comes down to church… trust Jesus.
- In conclusion church, this is what it all comes down to… trusting Jesus.
- All three of these “Me First” excuses boil down
to not trusting Jesus.
- “Me First, I need to be comfortable!” What you are really saying is “I don’t trust Jesus to take care of my needs when it comes to rest, fellowship, and joy. I need to take care of those myself before following Jesus.
- “Me First! I have a job to finish, like burying my father.” What you are really saying is “I don’t trust Jesus to take care of my fathers burial needs while I follow Him, therefore I need to do it myself”
- “Me first! I have friends and family to think about” what you are really saying is “Jesus, you clearly don’t care about my friends and family the way I do, because if you did you wouldn’t ask me to leave them behind… I don’t trust you to handle this well, so let me first take care of them, then I will follow You.”
- Now let me be perfectly clear church…
- Jesus want’s you to be comfortable and to have rest.
- Jesus want’s you to finish the jobs you have started… especially taking care of aging family member…
- Jesus want’s you to care for the emotional and
spiritual needs of your friends and family.
- BUT HE NEVER WANTS THESE THINGS TO COME BEFORE HIM.
- Trust Jesus.
- New Level, New Devil… some of you may be tested on this.
- Gospel Call
- Altar Call