Song: I Will Follow You
Artist: Jon Guerra
57 As they were walking along, someone said to Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.”59 He said to another person, “Come, follow me.”The man agreed, but he said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.”60 But Jesus told him, “Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead! Your duty is to go and preach about the Kingdom of God.”61 Another said, “Yes, Lord, I will follow you, but first let me say good-bye to my family.”62 But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”
We’ve been looking all week at discipleship, about what it really means to follow Jesus. To do what he says. Or, you might say, to go where he goes.
This moment in Luke’s narrative marks a significant turning point in Jesus’ life and ministry. Just a few verses earlier, we read this: When the days drew near for Jesus to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.
He set his face to go to Jerusalem. What was waiting for Jesus in Jerusalem? Confrontation. Trial. And cross. He set his face…to the cross.
And now we read: as they were walking along. Walking where? To Jerusalem. Walking along to Jerusalem. Walking along…to the cross.
And on the way, someone says to Jesus, “I’ll follow you wherever you go.”
Sometimes, I think I’m just as clueless as this guy walking alongside Jesus on that road to the cross. I’ll follow you wherever you go! Definitely! This guy was clueless. And, often, I am as well.
Then Jesus flips the script. As he’s walking along – to Jerusalem – to the cross, He says to two others, “Come, follow me.” This time, Jesus initiates the conversation.
Where the first guy seems a bit naive, these two are a bit more reluctant. Let’s call them cautiously optimistic. Or reluctantly willing. “Yes, Lord, I will follow you, but first…” How many times have I walked along this very same road?!
“Maybes” are subtle, and often legitimate. Yes, Lord! But first…
This passage makes one thing very clear: the decision to follow Jesus is an unqualified decision to follow Jesus – to reshuffle the priorities of our lives, submitting them all to His call. The disciple’s call is a call to go where He goes. And where He went was the cross.
It reminds a lot of something else Jesus said: “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me.”
Give up your own way, take up your cross. Reshuffle your priorities, go where Jesus goes.
The invitation today? Sniff out the “maybes” in your “walkingalong” with Christ.