SERMON OF THE WEEK
May 29, 2011
Next Sunday is the 5th Sunday after Easter. Gospel reading for Sunday is from Luke 9:57-62.
Theme: The cost of following Jesus.
Gospel Reading: (Luke 9:57-62)
57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go."
58 Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have
nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."
59 He said to another man, "Follow me." But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father."
60 Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God."
61 Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord;
but first let me go back and say good-by to my family."
62 Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."
Message: In the gospel, Jesus spells out the commitment he expects from his followers. Jesus is looking for a different breed of disciples, one who after committing himself for the cause, will not harbor second thoughts about it.
As Jesus and his disciples were walking along the road to Jerusalem, a man said to him, "I want to follow you wherever you go." Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the son of man has no place to lay his head.".
Jesus 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." Still a third man said, "I will follow you, but let me first go back and say good-bye to my family." Jesus replied, "No one puts his hands on the plow and looks back, is fit for the service in the kingdom of God. "
What seems striking in the response Jesus gives to each, makes one ask the question: what does Jesus expect of those who seek to follow him? It would appear he turns away more people than he takes in. But we learn at the end that being a disciples of Jesus involves being of a "different breed." The commitment is the first and most basic Jesus wants. Most of us are quicker with our words than with our deeds. Jesus must have desired a person who was less with his words and more with his deeds. To follow Jesus means a life that would require a
degree of separation and isolation from this world. Following Jesus means new ways of daily living in sharp contrast to this worldly life. Jesus was to suffer persecution and execution. There is a cost of following Jesus. There is no earthly security once we follow Jesus Christ. This is evident in Luke 9:57-59.
A true follower of Jesus will have no earthly ties. Jesus says, "Leave it behind, and follow me." And the follower shall have no earthly distractions. We can't have a true Christian life that is associated with our worldly desires. The true follower allows no earthly ties to distract our commitment to God.
Conclusion: What will it cost us to follow Jesus? It will cost us a lot. Jesus calls on us to commit ourselves to him completely, and hold back nothing. Jesus told the first man, "Count the cost." To the second man, Jesus said, "Leave it behind." And to the third man, "Don't look back." The cost to follow Jesus is heavy. But then, the cost of not following Christ could be heavier. The rewards for service to Jesus are great and the demand would be harsh also. Let's be someone who is totally and permanently committed to serving God for a reward that promises a life with Him in heaven.
Prepared by: Rev. Dr. V Kurian Thomas Valiyaparambil