Luke 9.57-62 observes, on the road someone asked if he could go along. “I’ll go with you, wherever,” he said. Jesus was curt: “Are you ready to rough it? We’re not staying in the best inns, you know.” Jesus said to another, “Follow Me.” He said, “Certainly, but first excuse me for a couple of days, please. I have to make arrangements for my father’s funeral.” Jesus refused. “First things first. Your business is life, not death. And life is urgent: Announce God’s kingdom!” Then another said, “I’m ready to follow you, Master, but first excuse me while I get things straightened out at home.” Jesus said, “No procrastination. No backward looks. You can’t put God’s kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day.
Three things we must understand if we are going to follow Jesus as His disciples. His call is difficult, His call is about proclaiming His kingdom to men and His call is urgent.
The call is difficult. The way is narrow and difficult is the road that leads to life and few are on it. Men will persecute us and speak evil of us for proclaiming Jesus and living the life He commands. Giving, serving and sacrificing is the way of the Master and thus the way of the disciple, if we are going to follow Him we must become like Him by giving, serving and sacrificing for others so that they can know Him too.
The call is about God’s kingdom. The focus of our lives is to be the building of God’s kingdom upon earth as it is in heaven. It is not to first take care of our business, build our kingdoms, meet our needs, fulfill our desires. Our lives belong to God and since we belong to Him we serve Him by leading others to Him.
Men are separated from God at birth the Scriptures declare. The servant of God restores men to God through the proclamation of the gospel by helping men become born again into His kingdom.
The call is urgent. This work of God is urgent, it is now, it is today. It cannot and must not be put off until tomorrow. Daily men die. Daily men wander further into depravity. Daily men suffer the prison of their own sin; the disobedience to God’s ways that would bring them life and freedom.
The work of God is the restoration of men to Himself. Men want, men need, healing, deliverance, wholeness and life abundant, today. The man of God moves daily toward the needs of men in order to release men from the bondage of sin to the abundant life of peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
This is what it means to be Jesus’ disciple: embrace the hard life of God and others first by proclaiming to men the love of God in Jesus and their need to repent and be saved, today.