57 他們走路的時候，有一人對耶穌說：你無論往那裡去，我要跟從你。 58 耶穌說：狐狸有洞，天空的飛鳥有窩，只是人子沒有枕頭的地方。 59 又對一個人說：跟從我來！那人說：主，容我先回去埋葬我的父親。 60 耶穌說：任憑死人埋葬他們的死人，你只管去傳揚 神國的道。 61 又有一人說：主，我要跟從你，但容我先去辭別我家裡的人。 62 耶穌說：手扶著犁向後看的，不配進 神的國。
57As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go." 58Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." 59He said to another man, "Follow me." But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." 60Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God." 61 Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family." 62Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."
- Jesus is talking to three potential followers of him. He expects his followers to be totally faithful without any conditions or restrictions. He wants them to accept the cross as well as the crown, judgement as well as mercy. We need to calculate the price and be willing to relinquish all that we consider our security to follow Jesus. Focus on Jesus and we will not be distracted in living out a life of truth and grace.
- Jesus’ response to the first person is: ”Count your cost before following me.” According to the Jewish customs, the second person probably meant that “I’ll wait until my father dies before I come to follow you.” Jesus advised him to grasp the opportunity to respond to the moving of the Holy Spirit at the time. The third person probably wanted to settle his family affairs and if time allows, then he’ll come to follow Jesus. The farmer has to look straight ahead in order to plow straight furrows for planting seeds. Jesus says that if we want to become a member of God’s kingdom, we need to focus our attention on God, and not allow the world to distract our focus elsewhere.
- If Jesus says to me, “Come and follow me, today!”, what excuses would I use to delay Jesus’ calling? Does Jesus delight in my hesitation in following Him? What are the things that are holding me back? Am I willing to allow Jesus to take away these things from me?
Vv14-17, God is especially interested in those who are hungry. Jesus showed us that when he fed the 5,000. Discuss how your family can help feed the hungry of the world. Do not forget the foreign missionaries who could help you feed the hungry. Decide how you will put your plan into action. Ask God’s help to complete your plan.