New Wine - Day 13

Becoming Desciples

Luke 9:59 He said to another person, “Come, follow me.”
The man agreed, but he said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.”
60 But Jesus told him, “Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead! Your duty is to go and preach about the Kingdom of God.”
61 Another said, “Yes, Lord, I will follow you, but first let me say good-bye to my family.”
62 But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”

These two interactions are indicative of what it takes to follow Jesus.

Growing up, in my father’s study there was a framed picture of a farmer, and around his farmer’s hat there were the words from verse 62: “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”

I only understood what it meant once I was much older. The way that I began to understand it came from a very strange place, so please forgive me as I digress.

I was watching Napoleon Dynamite, a film from 2004. If you have seen this movie, you may think it is a strange illustration of this point about discipleship. But bear with me! I watched the movie and I couldn’t get over the character of Uncle Rico, a man who was caught in the past of what he had done as a high school quaterback. He relived those moments again and again in the film, and for some reason, it finally clicked what this text meant.

Jesus was not saying to not care about your family. Rather, he was saying that the work of the kingdom of God is ever-expanding and always progressing. It means that we look forward, and we are not to spend out time looking back over what has been accomplished.

You may have done some amazing things in your life, I am sure you have. You should recognize those things, and then move forward in the way that God is calling you to move.

One more anecdote. There was an old dental professor that used to live on the street south of us when we lived in Loma Linda. He was a great man, and we woudl talk when we were all out on our walks. It turned out that I worked with his daughter for a few years.

It turned out that we were at an event with this daughter and her husband a little while later and she began to tell me about her dad and the incredible accomplishments he had made over his life. Dental schools in third-world countries, mission dental clinics, and more awards then you can imagine. Then her husband relayed how when he first went over to take the daughter out on a first date, he was met by her father, this dentist, who was trying to warm the house up, as the electricity had shut off for some reason. He was stoking a fire in the fireplace.

He asked the young man to hand him one of the plaques on the wall. The young man did, and as he handed him the plaque, which was about to go into the fire for kindling, he realized it was a pretty significant award from a large dental society in South America in recognition of the work that this dentist had done. The young man asked the professor if he really wanted to burn such a great honor. The professor answered: “that was yesterday, I am more interested in what we are going to do tomorrow!”

This is what it means to live and work as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

  1. What is God calling you to do for the growth of the kingdom of God? 
  2. How has he gifted you?
  3. Are you willing to go? 

By Pastor Timothy Gillespie

Download a PDF Version of our Series Guide

The Abide Daily Podcast

Thank You for Supporting the Ministry of Crosswalk

Posted in

No Comments