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Luke 9:57-end

'As Jesus and his disciples were going along the road, someone said to him,

 

‘I will follow you wherever you go.’

 

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 the person replied, ‘Lord, first let me go and bury my father.’

 

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.’

 

Jesus said to him, ‘No one who puts a hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.’'

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The Gospels were written around thirty years after the crucifixion, and most of the original followers of Jesus were very old, or had passed away. The Christian church had grown, but these people were now persecuted for their faith. Many faced death and imprisonment by the Romans, for their faith. At the very least, Christians would have been ostracised for their faith. Faith was costly to the followers of Jesus, and it must have been a real temptation for them to just give up and take the easier road in life. 

The Gospel writers wanted to make it clear that following Jesus was not going to be easy, so they recorded an encounter between Jesus and several potential followers. It appears that these people were going to take a bargain-basement approach to the Christian faith; more like hobbyists than disciples. Jesus makes it clear that the faith that they had put into their supermarket trolly was immensely costly. They must not be fooled by the so called free gift of God’s Grace. The real cost of that grace was the life of Christ, and what is costly for him, cannot be cheap for us.

Over the past few years, with COVID, and now with the consequences of a war in Europe, the prices of everything are rising, from fuel, to energy, and to food. Not only this but we are losing a sense of the certainties we once enjoyed in safe-little-England. Church can no longer be the comfortable little club it once was, and sadly we have seen people fall away from our churches and our communities. On a number of occasions people have said to me; 'It is just too hard! I cannot do it any more.' 

Jesus’ message to us is the same; ‘When Jesus calls a person, he gives us no option for the painless path, but asks to come and be prepared to die for him. We can, of course take the safer option, but in these challenging times people need the good news of Jesus Christ more than ever. If you are not prepared to follow Christ, then who on earth will.

 

Jesus says to us every time; ‘The foxes have their holes, and even the birds of the air have their nests, but the son of man has nowhere to lay his head. Now will you follow me?’

 

More deeply than ever, he says to you; ‘Follow me, and are you prepared to pay the price for that?

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