God Understands

He said to another person, “Come, follow me.” The man agreed, but he said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.” But Jesus told him, “Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead! Your duty is to go and preach about the Kingdom of God.” Another said, “Yes, Lord, I will follow you, but first let me say good-bye to my family.” But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.” ~ Luke 9:59-62NLT

Jesus called a few people to follow Him, but they all made good excuses not to go, at least initially. Whether or not they were planning to go later, or after they had accomplished the things they said they needed to accomplish, is left to be seen. Jesus, on the other hand, equated it to putting their hand to the plow and looking back. Now, no one can deny that these men had some really legitimate reasons not to go.

The first man requested that he go and bury his father. To us, who are living in the 21st century, it would appear to us that his father has either just died or is about to die. The fact is that he was requesting a leave of absence to go home and perform his earthly duty as a good son, more than likely, firstborn son, that is, to take care of his parents until they died. We can’t argue the nobleness of that gesture. Yet Jesus says there are more important things to be done.

What about the other man? All he wanted to do was to say goodbye to his parents. Again, maybe in the time we are living in that would entail sticking our heads into the front door and yelling, “Bye.” But not in that culture. They would have a goodbye celebration that could take days.

These are all good excuses. What about us today? We have the same legitimate excuses not to follow or do what we are called or asked to do. And we say something like, “God understands.” Yes, you are right; God does understand. He understands that He has called you, and He wants you to respond right away without excuse. We’re only fooling ourselves when we say, “God understands.” It’s just another excuse to ease our conscience and let us feel that we have a legit reason not to obey. So the truth is, what God understands is that you do not want to do what He has told you to do or called you to do, and He understands that that is called putting your hand to the plow and looking back.

Heavenly Father, I ask You to help us make good, righteous decisions when we are called or asked to do something for Jesus. Help us to not to make excuses or to fool ourselves into believing that You overlook everything. Yes, LORD, You are merciful, and we thank You for that, but You expect us to be obedient as well. So, help us, Father, to fulfill our calling in Jesus’ name, amen.

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