Thursday, October 11, 2012

No looking back

Luke 9:57-62 (ESV)
As they were going along the road, someone said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go." [58] And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head." [59] To another he said, "Follow me." But he said, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father." [60] And Jesus said to him, "Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God." [61] Yet another said, "I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home." [62] Jesus said to him, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God."

No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God. If there is a cost of discipleship, it isn’t going to be about those things Bonhoefer rants about in his awful little diatribe. It won’t be about adopting middle class values and behaving like the bourgeoisie. It won’t be the evangelical talk about a cross that somehow means giving up the cigarettes, and the booze and other things that they are always fond of giving up in the name of Jesus who never asked them to give them up. It will be this, you will lose family and friends. You will be tempted like Lot’s wife to look back. And neither should this be interpreted, you must give them up. You must not give them up. If anything you must continue to love them. It is this, they will give you up. They will give you up to whoever they can, betray you and slander you. It will be your family, it will be your best friends. And you will continue. And you won’t look back, because what you have is greater than they can ever offer you, but you will offer it to them also. It is forgiveness. Yes that will be the cost of discipleship. It will come in many forms. But holding on to forgiveness you will know that it is worth everything. Crosses will come your way. Keep your eye on the kingdom, keep your eye on the cross. It is where Jesus goes. This is why they are afraid to follow. But taking on the cross, being forgiven, you lose your life, and Jesus saves it.

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