Today, we begin a new series: "The Great Adventure." Following Jesus Christ is indeed an adventure!
And the great adventure is all about Jesus! I agree with Helen Keller: “Life is either a daring adventure or it is nothing at all.”
So let’s get started. Read Luke 9.57-62.
Talk is cheap!
While Jesus was on a journey, he had some conversations with different people. One guy said, "I will follow you no matter where you go."
It’s easy to make these great statements of devotion and commitment. Living them out is a whole other deal! Sometimes it takes a while for our hearts to catch up to the commitments we make with our mouths!
Hard words of Jesus!
Jesus doesn’t coddle the person who made this statement. Rather, he says, "Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but I, the Son of Man, have no home of my own, not even a place to lay my head."
I think Jesus is giving this guy a sense of "the way" this guy is committing to – the way of the cross. Jesus wants us to ‘count the cost’ before we embark on the journey!
In the other two conversations Jesus had on this journey, he was subjected to excuses why they couldn’t follow Jesus right now. One guy says, "Yes, Lord, I will follow you, but first …"
Well, it doesn’t really matter what they’re excuses were. Our excuses will be different than theirs. What are our excuses? Why keeps us from following Christ? Are we too busy, feel like we’re not good enough, or do we, like these would-be followers 2,000 years ago say, "not now; maybe later."
"If ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ were candies and nuts, we’d all have a merry Christmas!" (John Maxwell)
Interestingly, Jesus never says: "That’s okay; come whenever you can!" Jesus doesn’t accept our excuses. (Now Jesus arms are always open and he’s always welcoming us into his kingdom, but he doesn’t coddle us as we make our flimsy excuses). Jesus calls us to follow him, to be with him!
Rather than accepting their excuses, Jesus says, "Your duty is to go and preach the coming of the Kingdom of God. … "Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God."
It’s the call to discipleship. Jesus invites us to be on the journey with him.
"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it." (Mark 8.34-35)
"The life of following Jesus "is a life fueled by passion—a passion for God and a passion for people." (Erwin McManus)
"God is seeking worshippers who will be ready to follow the adventurous whispers of His Holy Spirit." (Matt Redman)
Questions for Prayer & Reflection
- Are your hands to the plow?
- Are you looking/moving forward?
- Can you say, "it’s all about Jesus"?
O God, thank you so much for inviting us to be on the journey with you! This journey is indeed a great adventure, an adventure that begins the moment we say, "Lord, I will follow you no matter what!" Help us to follow you in ways that bring honor to you, O God! Amen.