Paying the price

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Paying the price                    

Luke 9:59-60 “He said to another, “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.”

Extra Reading: Luke 9:51-62.  

As we read this portion of Scripture we need to understand that Jesus had only a number of months to live. He knew that he will face his own execution in Jerusalem and leave his disciples to continue his work. Through every word he says, he is trying to prepare his disciples to become leaders in spreading the gospel. Here Jesus corrects his disciples about the nature of his ministry: he has not come in judgment but instead to offer the gospel message of salvation. At the same time, the way of salvation-following Jesus-is not easy. It requires sacrifice-subordinating all other obligations to the cause of Christ. Jesus Christ does not ask for a couple of hours on Sunday; he desires all of a person’s resources, talents, and time to be placed in his service. As Lord and Saviour, he should be the top priority in our lives.

Although Jesus knew he would face persecution and death in Jerusalem, he was determined to go there. That kind of resolve should characterize the believers’ lives today. When God gives you a course of action, move steadily toward your destination, no matter what potential hazards await. Let me ask you a question: ‘Have you counted the cost of following Jesus? Do you understand that following Jesus is far more valuable than anything this world offers? What is the first thing you want to do before you commit yourself to serve Jesus? “Lord, first let me go and bury my father” (vv.59-60). Jesus sensed this man’s reluctance and challenged him to consider that his commitment had to be complete, without reservation. If this man truly desired to follow Jesus, he would not wait until he had fulfilled all his traditional responsibilities. Jesus was not advising that children disregard family responsibilities. Rather, Jesus was responding to this disciple’s qualifying use of “first”. Jesus must always come “first,” above all human loyalties. Jesus directive was not heartless; it called the man to examine his primary loyalty. If you want to follow Jesus you should count the cost and set aside any conditions you might have. Nothing worthwhile comes without sacrifice, and that applies to Christian discipleship as well.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help us to understand what it means to serve you. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen!

Rev. Samuel N. Modise

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