Wanted: True Disciples
"Lord, I will follow you wherever you go." Those were the words of one who came to Jesus and pledged to be His disciple (Luke 9:57). Surely such a person would make an excellent disciple! However, before accepting his offer, Jesus informed him that the cost of discipleship would be high. This would-be disciple was making a commitment, but did he realize the consequences of his decision? Jesus noted that the foxes and the birds have homes, but the Son of Man did not even have a place to lay His head. Those who wanted to be disciples of Jesus would share His hardships.
Not everyone is adequately committed to be a disciple of Jesus, to pay the high cost of discipleship. On the same occasion, Jesus challenged another to follow Him and the man asked permission to bury his father (Luke 9:59). It is possible that his father was not even dead yet; the man was requesting leave to fulfill this filial responsibility in the future, i.e., a request to delay leaving his family. Jesus’ response was, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God" (Luke 9:60). Such a response may appear unfeeling at first glance, but His point was that discipleship must occupy first place in our hearts (see Luke 14:26). The Scriptures teach that we have responsibilities toward our family members (love our wife or husband, obey and honor our parents, nurture and instruct our children, etc.; Ephesians 5:22-25; 6:1-4). Jesus was not forbidding legitimate concern for family, but rather emphasizing that no other responsibility must prevent discipleship.
Still another pledged to be a disciple,but desired permission to say goodbye to his family first (Luke 9:61). While perhaps not a desire to delay to the same extent, his attitude evidently was very similar to the man who asked permission to bury his father. Jesus responded to his attitude rather than to his actual request. "No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God" (verse 62). Once we have begun to serve Jesus, to follow Him wherever He leads, there is no turning back. We must turn our backs to the world and fix our eyes on Jesus. We cannot allow ourselves to be distracted from our primary purpose in life, to serve our Lord and Master (see Hebreus 12:1-2). The hestitant, the uncommitted, the vacilating and the fearful cannot be disciples of Jesus. They are not worthy to be subjects in the kingdom of God.
Not fit for the kingdom of God. Those are sobering words, but they inform us clearly that Jesus is not just looking for whomever decides on a whim to be His disciple. He is not necessarily looking for the talented, the influential or the wealthy. He is seeking individuals absolutely committed to serving Him, regardless of their wealth or social standing. Are we fit to be disciples of Jesus?