7654 - Follow Me

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We all must let go of our own desires to follow Jesus.

As we have read and studied the Gospel of Luke, we should remember that Luke was not Jewish. God graciously used this doctor to research and record the facts and incidents of the Gospel of Luke as well as the book of Acts. Being trained in science and medicine, Luke was well suited to gather, organize, and save his many notes so that what he recorded is orderly and accurate. Furthermore, we often see the perspective of a Gentile mind instead of a Hebrew one. As we read his writings it really seems that Luke was in the crowd observing the events firsthand, even though the first few verses of Luke prove otherwise.

We really must thank God for this man who was used to give us these two crucial books of the New Testament, the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles.

As we look at Luke 9:57-62, remember that this gentile doctor, Luke, appears to have left much behind in his dedication to the work of Jesus.

As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go."

Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."

He said to another man, "Follow me."
But the man 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 good-by to my family."

Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."


These conversations follow closely the response of an inhospitable rejection by a Samaritan village, of the traveling party of Jesus while on their way to Jerusalem.

This refusal of hospitality amounted to a rejection of Jesus. This thought may have influence the words of these conversations. Notice the strong requirements necessary for one who would follow Jesus.

No names are given in this passage. The first man made an overture to Jesus by saying, “I will follow you wherever you go.”

That’s a heavy commitment. I’ll go where you go. Into rejection. Into hostility. This man had no way of knowing what faced Jesus some six months later in Jerusalem. If so, would he so willingly have pledged his allegiance to be in that small group of disciples in the garden of Gethsemane? When Jesus was gruffly arrested, bound and taken away, everyone deserted him (Mk. 14:50).

Jesus outlined the challenge of what this man pledged by reminding him that animals and birds all find some place of rest, but the Son of Man has no chosen place for rest. He’s on the move, and who knows where he will be tonight? We are not given insight into the outcome of this pledge of commitment.

Then Jesus extends a challenging invitation to the next man as he says, “Follow me.”

This man was reluctant to climb aboard. “First, let me go bury my father.” If his father was already dead, such respect would have had this man at home, supporting and comforting the family. Most likely, his dad was alive. And who knows how much longer he lived?

Jesus replied, “Let the dead bury their dead.” This could be a statement that unbelievers may be expected to bury other unbelievers; but those who follow Jesus must be focused on being available to share the good news.

A third person made a conditional promise. “First, let me go back and say good-by to my family.” Again we can imagine the length of time required to put things in order to change vocations.

Jesus tells all of us that we must not hold onto the past, but focus upon the task the Lord has for us to do and follow Him. That’s what’s required of a faithful follower of Jesus.

These truths call us to deep commitment to Jesus, even unto death. But we know He equips, guides, supplies, empowers, and accompanies through each step of the road. Let us trust Him.