By Robert Halsey Pine
As they were going along the road, someone said to Jesus, “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, Jesus said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” But 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 plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:57-62).
Jesus keeps reminding us that if we follow Him, we must be prepared for full-time work. On His way to Jerusalem, Jesus is focused to the point of being rude to those who speak to Him along the way. He has no time to waste words on those who make casual commitments to follow Him. He is direct and warns that the journey is long and He himself has nowhere to lay His head. He’s on the move; He’s not thinking about making camp.
Our relationship with Christ is not a casual thing; it is signing on for the duration. It’s one of those big round candies on a stick that you find at carnival – an “all day sucker.”
And why not make the commitment? Once we’ve experienced the love and Grace of God, we’d be fools not to get on board. There are distractions, for even the most dedicated Christians. We think that God is going to be there for us, so we put Him on hold while we take a little diversion. It doesn’t work that way; there are no guarantees away from God.
We must discipline our lives so that we incorporate things into our daily living that keep us connected with God. Ways of letting Him in on everything that happens in our lives can be carefully crafted so that we never have to go far to be in His presence.
Indeed, we have a friend in Jesus. He can be with us in all sorts of places: work, ballgames, parties, gardening or prison. He is everywhere in all kinds of circumstances.
The irony is that when we make that commitment, He is not with us on our journey so much as we have packed up our lives to follow Him on His journey. So, if we think about it, what’s better? Should we camp out in our own place, or pack up and follow Him who “has nowhere to lay His head?” (Luke 9:58 NRSV).
Robert Halsey Pine is a graduate of Northeastern University and completed the program of Theological Education by Extension: Education for Ministry, School of Theology, the Un-iversity of the South.