57 As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 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.” 59 To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 60 And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” 61 Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” 62 Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Dead people have no feelings. Are you dead to yourself and alive in Christ? The Lord’s remarks are not meant to just “hurt” but to heal. As a surgeon may inflict pain to remove cancer or to fix a bone, so the Lord may hurt one in order to bring about healing for a soul. If one is ready to follow the Lord, be prepared to hear some hard things. Christ’s intention may feel cruel but He knows us better than we know ourselves. If He says something, it really is because He knows what is in us that will eventually erode and rot our souls. Heed His words.
Following Christ must be done with such a resoluteness that regardless of who comes in or out of my life, Christ is the One to whom I cling. I will be tempted to make myself comfortable but God’s intention is Christ-likeness and I must remember the Christ did not even have a place to lay His head. This is not to say having things is wrong or bad but just that I need to be willing to let them go for a greater good if Christ should compel me.
There needs to be a sense of definitive loyalty in my relationship with Christ. Often Christ takes first place in our speech about Him when in reality He is last place in our lives with Him. Many things compete for first place in our lives but Christ demands first place for the follower. Loving Christ doesn’t mean “hating” our family per se, but it does mean loving them less than we love Christ. He is to be the ultimate love of our lives.
There is nothing intrinsically wrong with saying goodbye. However, it can be an excuse to put off the call and command of God. When Christ calls He expects immediate obedience. Living with a sense of loose attachments is what is needed. There are many people who have made “plans” but never followed through because of something else they felt they “needed” to do first. What God expects from His follower first is complete allegiance and obedience. When God calls you then you’d better get up and get going. Otherwise, don’t say you’re ready to do whatever the Lord wants. Have your bags packed and be ready to move… and make plans to keep moving whenever He says, if you want to be a disciple.