And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto Him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head (Luke 9:57-58).
We live in a world where quantity matters more than quality. Mob mentality rules the day. Power is construed by the number of followers a person has. Elections are won or lost, not on issues, but on how many people belong to which political party at any given time. In this spirit of thinking, it should come as no surprise that some modern churches may measure their success on the number of members they have on roll.
To Jesus, however, the total number of disciples He has does not matter. Every person is infinitely precious to Him, and He does not want anyone attempting to follow Him without understanding exactly what it entails. He knows that if a person were to attempt it on a whim, they would soon fall away and be lost forever. When the young scribe (Matt. 8:19) proclaimed his allegiance, Jesus pointed out to him that he could expect to face many hardships if he chose to follow Him. A disciple of Jesus cannot become attached to any earthly possessions, nor can they expect any guarantee of earthly resources. The disciples of the Son of man must be willing to forego earthly conveniences and follow where He leads.
And another also said, Lord, I will follow Thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God (Luke 9:61-62). Our Lord does not welcome volunteers who are only willing to join Him on their own terms; serving Christ is a lifetime commitment. Love for us dictated the sternness of the words of our Lord. It is not possible to serve God while still concerning ourselves with what we have given-up to follow Him. It is easy for us to be deceived into believing that we can choose to follow Him when the time is convenient for us. We make excuses that reveal our divided hearts. We cannot follow Jesus if other things in our lives are given equal or even higher priority than He is. If we are unwilling to submit to the authority of Jesus and pay the price of His high calling, then we are not yet ready for His service.
Sadly, the high cost of discipleship has many turning their backs on the outstretched hands of Christ. To some the siren's call of worldly success is too great. Others who are willing to make the sacrifice and step out in faith soon discover that the satisfaction of serving Him far exceeds fleeting earthly rewards. Our Lord calls us to communicate His Gospel to a world lost in sin. The more carefully we read His Word and listen to the Holy Spirit, the more worldly ambitions and human standards fade into insignificance.
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:31-33).
Thought for Today:
That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death (Phil. 3:10).
For Luke 8:10: See Is. 6:9. For Luke 9:35: See Ps. 2:7.
8:44 stanched = stopped flowing; 9:3 staves = staffs, walking sticks; scrip = small bag for money or food; 9:29 glistering = shining with brilliance.
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Isaiah 9:7 - (HCSB) The dominion will be vast, and its prosperity will never end. He will reign on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish and sustain it with justice and righteousness from now on and forever. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will accomplish this.