"Jesus said: follow me!" What happens nextJaegers
By Henry Jaegers
The Man on the Cross: His focus is straight ahead.
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 plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. (Luke 9:61, 62)
Have you ever wondered what the man had in mind when he requested Jesus to let him go back and bid farewell to those at home? I notice first, that he was a volunteer. Volunteers usually work for short periods of time and usually, it is without compensation. But does it make sense in the context of this, that Jesus was looking for volunteers? Being a volunteer means that it's okay for short periods of time and that will be fine.
I recall a hymn that we sang quite a while back and it said something like this: “A volunteer for Jesus, a soldier true: Others have enlisted, why not you? And it ended with the question, “Will you be enlisted as a volunteer?” Somehow or other, I cannot help but think that whoever wrote this song didn't understand the verse quoted above.
Then the thought occurred to me, why was it necessary for him to go back and bid farewell? Our minds could go crazy trying to figure that out. Maybe by going and bidding farewell, he would get their praise and congratulations for being such a self-sacrificing volunteer. Then again, maybe he thought someone might talk him out of this decision. Or maybe, he was expecting to have a party bidding him farewell on his journey? Whatever the reason that there may have been, Jesus knew full well that he had other plans after his endeavors as a volunteer were through.
I attended a church at one time, where a confirmation class for certain groups of young people was conducted. Upon completion of the class, their graduation was called "there Confession of faith!" But I heard no testimonies concerning faith in Christ and a commitment to follow Jesus. What happens later was a great party along with many gifts, congratulating these young people on their completion of this course of study. Is that what it means to follow Jesus?
Suppose Jesus had this same idea as to what his purpose was. Because Jesus was the son of God, it did not mean that he did not struggle with this human side of life. Imagine, as he prayed in the garden in great agony, knowing fully what lay before him, decided that it was not worth it all. Why should the son of God have to go through all of this for a bunch of people who could care less? Suppose Jesus followed through on these thoughts? Do you think that temptation did not come to him? Think about those words that he prayed for "father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me." Do you think that maybe for a moment that there could have been another way in the mind of God? But his answer was immediately from his own lips "nevertheless, not my will but thine be done."
But there was only one focus in the mind of Jesus. It is not a focus on what it would cost him and how others might respond. His focus was straight ahead at his purpose was to make it possible for us to have eternal life by the giving of his own life. Jesus said, "no man, having put his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. So, we close with this word: Jesus said, follow me." What happens after that is not ours to consider. Follow Jesus, then wait to find out the answer.