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Cross

Christianity

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

Discipleship - Following Jesus

by Rev. Fr. Alexander J. Kurien, Washington, D.C.

St. Luke 9: 51-62: Do we reject Jesus for our earthly conveniences?

Do you remember the story of Jesus asking some people to become his followers? One replied, "I will follow you, but first let me bury my Father." He simply wants to spend the last few days or years of his fathers life with him. But Jesus said, "Let the dead bury the dead."

Another says, "I will follow you, just let me go and say a proper good-by to everyone." A simple enough request, surely Jesus would grant it. Instead Jesus says that people like him, who look back, are not fit for the Kingdom.

Some people reject Jesus' call to be disciples because they don't want to leave the comfort of home. But there are other reasons. Consider the Samaritans. If you remember they were the ones who told Jesus not to make himself at home. They told him he wasn't welcome because they didn't like where he was going. The Samaritans and the Jews had a lot of religious arguments. And they hated each other because the Jews said God should be worshipped in Jerusalem. But the Samaritans said God should be worshipped in the mountains. Many Jews avoided the Samaritans. If Jews had to get to the other side of Samaria they would go around it rather than go through it. But Jesus went right through it because he loved them. On this occasion Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem to worship. The Samaritans did not believe in going to Jerusalem to worship so they refused to receive Jesus. They didn't like his destination so they rejected him.

People today do the same thing. They don't agree with what Jesus is doing so they refuse to cooperate. But Christ is on his way to glorify God.

Some people don't like Christ's goal of reconciling people to God through forgiveness. That is what was wrong with the disciples in St. Luke 9: 51-62. They didn't want to forgive. The Samaritans had rejected them and they were mad. So they said, "Lord condemn those people. Call fire down on them." But Jesus refused. Many people don't like it when Jesus sets out to reconcile people to each other or to God. They want Jesus to rain fire down on them, not heal them. So they refuse Christ's forgiving Spirit a home in their hearts. However, Christ, a forgiving father, answered, "the Son of man did not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them."

Jesus made it very clear that discipleship is not an easy life. It is a life of constant change. To follow, we will have to count our relationship to Jesus as more important than our family and friends. And sometimes people will reject us because we seek God's will. Sometimes it means showing love to people who make us uncomfortable.

But the benefits are worth it. Followers of Christ cannot make themselves at home during their spiritual journey, but they do have company. Son of God calls us to be spiritually homeless in the world, but he will be homeless with us. And while we are homeless in this world, those who follow Christ will have a permanent home in heaven and eternal life. Therefore, let us not reject Jesus for our earthly conveniences, because Jesus came and sacrificed his life to save us.

See Also:

Be a Bold Witness
Remember that you are immortal till your work is done. If the Lord has more witness for you to bear, you will live to bear it.

Forgiveness
Story of Joseph in the Bible is an epitome of a forgiving mind, a proof that even if man decides to hurt one's feelings or rob one's best part of life, nothing shall ultimately prevail against what God has destined.

The Hour of Glory
No human mind can begin to fathom the eternal love of the Father toward His chosen children of grace. That hour of perfect obedience by His only begotten Son unto death, even the death of the cross, was ever before the Father from eternity. Had it not been for these covenant promises, Adam would have sunk eternally into hell the instant that he sinned.

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