Steadfastly Following Christ
(Luke 9:57-62)

Rev. Jim Bogle, given August 5, 2007

I hope you got a good night’s rest last night! I want to share with you this morning the words of a very familiar lullaby...

The nursery rhyme:

Rock a Bye Baby,

In the tree top.

When the wind blows,

the cradle will rock.

When the bow breaks,

the cradle will fall,

and down will come baby,

cradle and all.

Luke 9:57

And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way,

What way?

Luke 9:51

And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,

Christ was on His way to the cross...

In fact the Bible says, “He steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem

Stead“fast”ly: adv, meaning that His body, mind, and spirit were fixed to go to Jerusalem. His Father had called Him to a work, and he steadfastly set his face to that work!

Galatians 4:4-5

4. But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

5. To redeem them that were under the law,

The fullness of time had come. The misery, the suffering, and the shame of the cross was the “way” Christ was now hurrying on...

He loved His Father so much that He was willing to subject himself to the misery and reproach of the cross, that you and I might have fellowship one day with him in glory.

Is there anybody here this morning that would like to accompany Christ to the cross?

Is there anybody here this morning that would like to be of service to the LORD as He travels to the cross?

Well there were some in Christ’s day that thought they were ready to follow Jesus, even as there are in the church today!!

The Bible says,

Luke 9:57-58

…a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.

This man, who would follow Christ, said hastily, “I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.”  Now he wasn’t really ready to do that (many theologians believe). And this is why the LORD cautioned him...

58: And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.

Mind you, Christ has nothing of this material world but a robe...and possibly a pair of sandals. And he is on his way to be executed in a most gruesome and horrible way.

And here is this one that steps forward to announce that he will follow Christ! But God’s response to him seems to indicate that the man’s decision was hasty and rash.

He had not yet considered the cost!

He thought Christ was going to set up a kingdom.

He was thinking of thrones, and dominions and power.

And yet following Christ would mean facing days of uncertainty and struggle. It was not going to be a comfortable venture.

I don’t know of any true Christian today who can honestly say that since they’ve received Christ as Lord and Savior, everyday has been milk and honey, or peaches and cream.

If we mean to follow Christ, there is going to be some unsettling and uncomfortable moments in our lives! We will have to follow Christ by faith!

Luke 9:58

And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.

If God provides a dwelling place for the fox, and nests for the birds, why then should we doubt that God will provide all of our needs as well?

Luke 12:24

Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?

If God can provide for all of natures creatures, he can sure enough provide for you. But we must trust him and follow him.

No one knows if this man followed Christ, or turned away....

Luke 9:59-60

59. And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.

60. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.

Here is a man that Christ calls to follow Him. There can be no greater priority in any person’s life than making a commitment to follow the Lord Jesus.

This man said he would follow later, but at that moment family affairs were more of a priority than Christ’s call to service!

The devil can always make family affairs more important than following Christ!

Religion certainly teaches us to show piety at home and to care for our loved ones; but we must not make these an excuse for neglecting our duty to God.

Luke 9:60-62

Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. 

Did you know that the kingdom of God is the only hope for the dead?

The preaching of the kingdom is more important than anything else, even the funeral of one’s own loved one. It is not that God is against funerals, or that we should never attend a funeral. But for this man, God had called him for a particular work, and he chose to delay God’s work for what he considered a more important work, to bury the dead!

God has called many of us to his service, some to preach, some to teach, some to sing, some to lead, and some to follow! Many of us this morning have answered His call, but along the way somehow, we have made other things of greater priority.

Anything that we consider more important than serving Christ, is service to dead works!

God calls this man, but he delays…

61: And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.

62: And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

Here again is the one that is willing to follow Christ, but he must have a little time to talk with his family and friends about it, and to set in order his household affairs.

My friends, let me tell you this. If you’re waiting to set your household in order before you step out to follow Jesus, you will never follow Christ, because in a true spiritual sense your house can never be in order if your heart is not FIRST in order with Christ.

Christ will set your house in order, when you set your mind and heart to follow him.

This man was, no doubt, sincere in his desire, just as all the others were, but family concerns were more important to him at that moment than truly following Christ!  This man was willing to enter into a temptation leading him from his purpose, rather than dropping everything (as the Apostles did), and following Jesus.

Conclusion:  One theologian wrote,

“Those who begin with the work of God, must resolve to go on, or they will make nothing of it. Looking back, so many times leads to drawing back, and drawing back, the Bible says, is to perdition.”

Today, many Christians who have answered God’s call to service, whether in the sharing of our faith, the support of His church, the teaching of His Word, singing in the choir, serving on the Board of Deacons, or preaching from the pulpit, somehow completely forget about our call and our commitment the moment we pass out through the church doors.

Satan has so effectively rocked us to sleep, and made life so comfortable and relaxing, that we like the little baby in the tree top can hardly feel the wind blowing, or hear the limbs cracking…

But the bow will break one of these days, sooner or later, and every one of us will give an account to God of our stewardship, because very soul God calls to salvation has a service to render to Him.

The pastor, the deacons, the choir, the Sunday School teachers, the congregation, and yes even the youth, if they have answered God’s call, and have somehow drifted off to sleep, the LORD says,

Romans 13:11

…now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed