Jesus answered him.
As Jesus begins his final journey to Jerusalem, he is approached by three different would-be followers. Each of them wants to follow him, but their responsibilities and concerns seem to give them pause. In answer to their requests, Jesus makes it clear that following him isn’t always easy. He offered them a reality check so that they could clarify their motivations and decide whether they really wanted to be his disciples. And so he cut below the surface of their words to address their real questions.
Notice how each of these people responds to Jesus’ invitation by talking about their life circumstances—a funeral, a family farewell, a concern about housing. Jesus responds not only to what they say on the surface, but also to their deepest motivations, fears, and intentions. One of Jesus’ answers reveals that the person approaching him probably has false expectations of comfort and ease. By another response, he helps a disciple face his unwillingness to make sacrifices.
Jesus is never unkind, but he is honest. He answered each person who came to him in a way that showed them the next down-to-earth step they had to take in answering Jesus’ radical call.
Jesus can help you to see yourself more clearly as well. He knows how faithfully you are following him. He knows how much you love him. He wants to show you not only how your walk with him is strong, but also where you need more of his grace. His goal is always to help you be realistic about his call to discipleship. But as costly as the journey may be, he also wants to assure you that he is walking with you every step of the way.
So talk with Jesus today. Tell him that you want to follow him. But also tell him about what’s going on in your life right now and any hesitation you might have. Let him answer you as he answered the people in Scripture (Luke 9:58) so that you can understand your motivations a little better. Then you’ll be ready for the next step along the journey with Jesus.
Word Among Us