Obey or Delay
24 Jul 2017
Luke records that one day, while walking along the road, Jesus encountered three individuals with whom he had conversations about the cost of appropriating his teaching. When Jesus beckoned the second of the three to follow him, the man requested permission to first take leave to bury his father. Jesus responded:
‘Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God’ (Luke 9:59-60).
Ouch! That sounds harsh. Will following Jesus keep us from attending our parents’ funerals?
‘Let the dead bury their own dead…’
If this man’s dad was dead, he would hardly be on the road following Jesus; he’d be home where he should be, fulfilling his obligations. Jesus is not insensitive to human loss. I suspect this guy plans to follow Jesus more closely once his father has passed away (when dad is dead and buried). In the meantime, he’ll do what’s convenient, and hang around at a distance.
When Jesus calls disciples to follow him more closely, he invariably commands them to go. It seems a paradox. Follow and go. And it would be a strange thing except Jesus has promised to always be with his followers. He will never leave them. Where they go, he goes. There is no place they can be where he is not. Rather than waiting for the most convenient time in life to closely follow Jesus, “go and proclaim” the good news of the gospel when Jesus calls. Obey his commands, share his love, live your faith out loud. If you are a follower of Jesus, he has claim on your life.
Don’t let anything keep you from following hard after God. Don’t let anything prevent you from sharing with others life-changing news. Not even good things.
Pioneers Australia National Director