Are you willing to follow Jesus today?


by Job Anbalagan

Let us mediate on Luke 9:57 – 62.  In this passage, we find that two men approached Jesus to become His disciples.  Both of them really had the urge in their hearts to follow Him. Jesus exhorted them to follow Him.  The first man said, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest” When Jesus wanted him to follow Him, he sought permission from Jesus to suffer him first to go and bury his father.  We find nothing wrong in his desire to bury his dead father.  In fact it was his duty to bury his father.  He was supposed to honor his dead father as it amounted to obeying the Law of Moses. But Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their dead; but go thou and preach the kingdom of God”.  For Jesus, to become His disciple, one has to go and preach the kingdom of God. Jesus did not want him to become His disciple by merely staying with Him.  Jesus made it clear to him that the Son of Man had no place to lay His head while foxes had holes and birds of the air had nests.

 

Becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ does not mean staying with Him or being in His presence and enjoying His presence.  Being a disciple of Jesus Christ does not mean giving precedence to any personal problem. That man just wanted to bury his dead father and then follow Jesus Christ.  Jesus did not allow him to do so.  The same commission of Jesus is still applicable to us as we want to follow Him. We cannot cite our personal problems as the reasons for not following Him immediately. When the call of God comes in our life, we should immediately follow Him and should not cite any personal problem to postpone our decision to follow Him or to do His ministry.  His ministry takes precedence over your personal problem. We have many personal problems in these days which do take precedence over our following Jesus Christ.

 

If you give importance to your personal problem, you are only a dead man in the sight of Jesus Christ. Let the dead bury their dead!  None of us today have the same personal problems which were faced by Jesus Christ in His life.  He had no place to lay His head whereas most of the people of God have some place to lay their heads.  They live in their houses or in rented houses.  Jesus had no money in His pocket to serve His Father whereas we have some money in our pockets.  Jesus had no acceptable place for His ministry whereas we have our own pulpits.

 

Recently, I received an email prayer request from some child of God.  She was ambitious to serve Jesus and had great plans to serve Him.  She put a condition that if Jesus removed some particular hindrance from her way, that too by a target date, she would happily serve Jesus. I sent her a reply that Jesus wanted you to surrender your will to Him and that God does not want to be served with human hands (Acts 7:48). We should die to our own plans and surrender our will to Him.

 

Go and preach the kingdom of God!  This commission has no condition attached to it.

 

The second man who wanted to become His disciple said to Jesus, “Lord I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house” There was nothing wrong in his desire to bid farewell to his beloved parents, sisters or brothers at home. He just wanted to follow Jesus after bidding farewell to his beloved people at home.  But Jesus said to him, “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God”.  For Jesus, bidding farewell to our beloved kith and kin at home means looking back and this does not qualify us to become His disciples.   That man should have followed Jesus without putting any condition.  Today many of us want to bid farewell to our beloved people.  This means we want to give precedence to our own kith and kin over our discipleship.  Jesus does not want us to neglect our kith and kin. But He does not want us to give the first priority to our own kith and kin. He expects us to give the first and foremost priority to preaching the kingdom of God without putting any condition.

 

Today, we have many excuses for not following Him.  We covet His presence in our home or churches. We covet His fellowship with us under all circumstances.  But we do not want to follow Him.  If at all we want to follow Him, we put some conditions to Him.  Our personal problems should not deter us from following and serving Him. Many people want to serve Jesus only after He removes their personal problems. You may want to serve Him only after you have finished your present assignment in your career.  You may want to serve Him only after you have constructed a house for you.  You may want to serve Him only after you have discharged your parental responsibilities for your children.  You may want to serve Him only after you have received the necessary funds in your hands. You may want to serve Him only after you have received a degree from some Bible college. You may want to serve Him only after you have cleared all your debts or financial liabilities. But He wants you to follow Him today.  If not today, you will never follow Him.