In Luke 9, we see three different people encounter Jesus and the subject discussed was following Him. The first person says, “Jesus, I’ll go anywhere with you.” The second person asked to go finish up family business and then he’d catch up later. The third offered a very similar thought.
We tend to focus quite a bit on Jesus calling His disciples—the ones who obeyed. We don’t spend as much time on those who offered up excuses as to why this was not the best time in their schedules to follow the Messiah. You can almost hear our own culture echoed in this passage . . . “Let me finish school.” “Let me get married and settle down, then I’m all in.” “Let me get the business up on its feet first.” “Let me get the kids through college, then we can really focus on ministry.” “Let me retire, then I’ll minister to anyone you want me to.”
Then, and now, Jesus confronts, calls, and hears excuses.
When we read His responses to the three in this passage, He sounds rather harsh. But the language is not rude, it’s urgent. Passionate. Not for later, but right now.
In Matthew 4, we see Jesus encounter two brothers. They were involved in the family business with Dad. Family—all good. Career—in place. Jesus says, “Follow me,” and they “dropped their nets and followed.” These men didn’t make excuses, but became examples forever of faith in action. They went on to start the church we all attend today.
What do you suppose those three with the excuses missed out on? They never knew. The world never knew. That’s the big problem with excuses.
Daily, we have the choice to offer excuses to Jesus, or become examples for Jesus.
Jesus answered, “Anyone who starts plowing and keeps looking back isn’t worth a thing to God’s kingdom!” —Luke 9:62 CEV
Eyes forward. Keep plowing. Be an example.