“Lord, I Will Follow You”
We all should reach a point in our lives when we say to Jesus, “Lord, I will follow You.” But, when we do this, we should truly understand what it is we are saying. For, there are many who want to be disciples of Christ, but then do not commit to and follow Jesus in the way He desires. So, we need to learn three lessons about making this commitment from Luke 9:57-62.
1) Discipleship includes a high cost. As Jesus traveled on a road, someone came to Him and said, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go” (Luke 9:57). But, 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” (Luke 9:58).
Here was a man who was eager to follow Jesus. As he thought about this, he even said that he would follow Jesus wherever Jesus went. So, Jesus wanted this man to know what he was signing up for. He wanted him to know that it would not always be easy. In fact, Jesus said that He did not even have anywhere to lay His head (unlike the foxes and birds). Therefore, as you consider being Jesus’ disciple, you must consider that it has a high cost associated with it. While discipleship is worth the sacrifice, Jesus wants you to consider the cost prior to the time you begin following Him. It may cost you relationships. It may cost you financially. It may cost you suffering. It may even cost you your life.
2) Discipleship puts Jesus first. After this man, Jesus said to another, “Follow Me” (Luke 9:59). But, that man told Jesus, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” (Luke 9:59). Jesus responded, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:60).
Here was a man who was willing to respond to Jesus’ invitation to be His disciple. But, he wanted to do something else first. While burying your father may seem like an important task, Jesus recognized that (in this case) it was more important to this man than his discipleship. Jesus knew that only those who were willing to put Him first were His true disciples. Therefore, as you consider being Jesus’ disciple, you must consider that true discipleship puts Jesus first at all times. You must not let anything stand between you and following Jesus Christ. Not your family. Not your friends. Not your job. Not your worldly possessions. Not your earthly desires. Nothing!
3) Discipleship involves no turning back. Finally, another man said to Jesus, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house” (Luke 9:61). Then, 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).
Here was a man who volunteered to follow Jesus. But, he also wanted to do something else first. And, Jesus recognized this problem. Jesus knew that He was like a man who was trying to plow a field and keeps looking back. Such a person is not “fit for the kingdom of God”! Therefore, as you consider being Jesus’ disciple, you must consider that you cannot begin to follow Jesus Christ and keep looking back to your old life. You can’t wish for the old ways you used to live. You can’t wish for the old relationships you used to enjoy. You can’t wish to experience the former pleasures. You can’t long for the former treasures. Wishing to have or experience the things that were part of your rebellious life of sin will only work to distract you from faithfully following Jesus Christ today!
When you tell Jesus, “Lord, I will follow You,” you need to recognize what is involved. When you do, you will be able to make the kind of commitment the Lord requires of you. But, you also must recognize that this commitment will be worth the high cost and sacrifice! For, following Jesus Christ will lead you to eternal life in Heaven with the Father (John 14:6)!