“As they were going along the road, someone said to (Jesus), ‘I will follow you wherever you go.’ 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.’ To another He said, ‘Follow Me.’ But he said, ‘Lord, let me first go and bury my father.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.’ Yet another said, ‘I will follow You, Lord, but first let me say farewell to those at my home.’ Jesus said to him, ‘No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.'” (Luke 9:57-62)
Superman ain’t got nothin’ on Jesus.
Jesus can see right through us with laser-like precision. To one, Jesus knew that the man would follow Him . . . until it got difficult. Talk is cheap. To another Jesus didn’t imply that He wanted the man to dishonor his dad (Jesus never said NOT to bury his father). Jesus just knew that the man’s words were simply that: words. His daddy’s burial was an escape route to look like and sound like he wanted to follow Jesus. But his ‘excuse’ was a way out of having to do it . . . right then. And to a third Jesus simply wanted to inform the man that following Him didn’t come with strings attached. Saying bye to family isn’t wrong. It’s good to do. But if you want to say bye to your family because maybe you will see or hear something that would convince you to stay put – that could be a problem.
Jesus sees through our words right down into our hearts. The problem with what these men were saying to Jesus was not necessarily what they wanted to do. The problem was that they wanted to look like Jesus followers without being a Jesus follower. Jesus didn’t mind if they buried their dad or said goodbye to their mommas. What bothered Jesus was that He knew what we too know: ultimately, we will DO what really WANT to DO.
Used any excuses, lately?
“I am way too tired to read my Bible this morning.” Really? How late did you stay up on the computer last night or watch the game?
“I haven’t had a chance to share the Gospel this week.” Really? How many times did you checkout at Wal-Mart, get a burger at McDonald’s, or walk past someone sitting by him or her self?
“I just can’t get all my work done at the office!” Really? How much time have you spent on the web while at work or talking to coworkers about who will win the National Championship?
“My prayer time has been so rushed and distracted this week.”
“I want to go on that mission trip, but I just can’t afford it.”
“I know my kids need more of my time, but . . .”
Believe me, I understand that some excuses can be legit. But let’s be honest with ourselves for a moment and quit making excuses when we simply need to confess and repent. We make time for what WE want to do. It’s as simple as that. If it is important to us, we will make time for it. Jesus knew the talk. Jesus knew the lingo. Jesus knew the excuses. Because Jesus knows the heart.
Jesus can see through our words (whether we are saying them to ourselves or others) right into our hearts.
What excuses are you making up that are ultimately keeping you from being the person God has created you and called you to be.