When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to prepare for his arrival, but they did not receive him because his face was set toward Jerusalem. When his disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” But he turned and rebuked them. Then they went on to another village.
As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “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, first let me go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” And Jesus said to him, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” ~ Luke 9:51-62
This passage echoes the passage about Elijah and Elisha (without the brutal murder of oxen)!
Here, though, there are three men that have the chance to follow Jesus. The first one volunteers without being asked. Think of him as that kid in class who always raised her hand for every question even before the teacher asked! (I admit, that was me sometimes. I could be pretty annoying)!
The second one Jesus asks to follow and makes what seems like a reasonable request to bury his father. But Jesus tells him he has another responsibility. We aren't told what the man's response was, but I'm guessing he followed.
And then the third man, begins with his caveat before Jesus even has a chance to say anything. "I'll follow you but first..." Again, we aren't told his response to Jesus.
It's tempting to see Jesus being a little unreasonable here. I mean, burying a father or saying good-bye don't seem like big asks.
And no where here is Jesus condemning any of those men.
But he does want them to know what they are in for. No real home to speak of, a new family, and a life that has big expectations.
Now, I don't think we are meant to give up our homes and families. But I do think Jesus still wants us to know that the journey of faith isn't one that is going to be easy. It's going to have some big ups and downs.
But we don't travel the journey alone.
I see the road before me, Lord. Guide me down it and show me the way. Amen