Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Follow Me

Luke 9:57-62 talks of discipleship and calling, laying out some requirements and expectations for those who would be Christians or citizens of the Kingdom of God; As they were going along the road, someone said to Him, "I will follow You wherever You go." And Jesus said to him, "the foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head." And He said to another, "Follow Me." But he said, "Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father." But He said to him,"Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and preach the Kingdom of God." Another also said, "I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house." But Jesus said to him, "No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God."

In each scenario played out in the discourse the 'ones' had made a conscious decision to follow Jesus. It could very well be assumed from that that they recognized Him as Lord and Saviour. It can be further assumed that they had preliminary understanding that there had to be a departure from life as they had lived. The subsequent calling upon their life needed a commitment requiring: sacrifice, placing their trust and faith in the One who called, having assurance for their substance and sustenance along the way, knowing that in comparison to the world (foxes & birds) their care was assured of as in likeness God's care for Christ was, not that which was reliant upon what he owned, but requiring a separation from worldly pursuits and acquisitions;
decisiveness, recognizing the things of this world which will make us tarry in our previous circumstance and disable us from moving;(Pensee, I know!)
devotion and focus, denying the virtuous and noble intents and motives of life in relation to the life of the Kingdom of God.
We see in 1 Kings 19:19,20 a similar request made of Elijah, by Elisha. It says, "... Elisha...was plowing...and Elijah passed over to him and threw his mantle on him. He left the oxen and ran after Elijah and said, "Please let me kiss my father and my mother, then I will follow you." And he said to him,"Go back again, for what have I done to you? The passage is an almost exact representation of what is expressed in the passage from Luke. The interesting part of 1 Kings is the question posed by Elijah, 'What have I done to you?' Elisha obviously recognized a calling and in that recognition realized the focus of his life was going to change. Elijah knew the calling and all that would be required of Elisha, and the sacrifice and devotion needed for fulfillment of that calling was dependant upon Elisha's reaction to the placement of the mantle. The desires welling up in Elisha's heart with the calling had to be backed up with commitment and sacrifice worthy of, and recognizing the importance of a sanctified, and consecrated life. There was not any expectation by the placement of the mantle that Elisha was able or willing to follow, there was only in the placement an opportunity for Elisha, hence the question posed by Elijah. It is the same with those of us who follow the teachings of Jesus in Luke 9. We are called to a Kingdom existence, given gifts and opportunities, asked to sacrifice, asked to live a life of faith, sanctification and consecration.

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