4th May 2012
“He said to another man, ‘Follow me.’ But the man replied, ‘Lord, first let me go and bury my father.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.’”
Luke 9:59-60 (NIV UK)
Funerals are an occasion for preaching the hope of the gospel. A comment often made to me is how comforting our funeral services are.
It may seem, however, that in the passage above, Jesus is saying that the man should not take care of burying his father. Perhaps there is another way of looking at it. The discussion is not about funeral arrangements. It is about not being distracted from declaring the kingdom of God.
Sometimes we make excuses for not committing fully to following Jesus. They can sound quite plausible and even understandable, but they remain excuses. Jesus knows the thoughts and intents of our hearts, and was informed by them as he answered questions (e.g. see Matthew 9:4, Luke 9:47). Is this what was happening here? Jesus knew the background to the man’s comment and that really it was just a delaying tactic or an excuse.
When we are spiritually alive to Jesus and to what he has to say, there comes a conviction to share the gospel. Don’t let our excuses, real or exaggerated, get in the way.
Be committed to Jesus, and let nothing take us away from that path.
Father, help me through the Spirit to recognize when I am making excuses for not following Jesus. Help me to follow Jesus day by day.
Study by James Henderson