Jesus’s “Tough” Words

I meet with a good friend of mine every other week for breakfast to disciple him. We recently finished a book and now we’re talking about our observations from God’s Word. One day last week, he sent me a text about an observation from Eastridge’s daily reading plan. He noticed that in Luke 9, Jesus uses what appears to be some tough, harsh words toward his followers. One particular passage stands out:

57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”

58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

59 He said to another man, “Follow me.”

But the man replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”

60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”

61 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good‑by to my family.”

62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

Luke 9:57-62 (NIV)

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The Personal Is Spiritual

There’s a saying that was used by radicals in the 1960s & 70s that summed up their commitment to their cause: “the personal is political.” The gist of that simple, four-word sentence is that these radicals were so committed to their cause…whether it be feminism, Black Power, the anti-war movement, or any other cause… that everything they did they considered a political act.

We who are believers in Jesus Christ can learn from such sold-out devotion, especially since ours is not a temporal cause but the eternal cause. Most Christians could stand a little dose of radical fervor. (Don’t get me wrong…I’m not advocating the politics of these groups or the means they used to achieve their ends, but there’s something to be said for a passion that permeates all we do, when it’s used in the right manner and for good.)

As Christians, we often need to be reminded that our relationship with Christ is meant to permeate all we are and all we do. Christianity isn’t meant to be compartmentalized. Our commitment to Christ shouldn’t be something we put on and take off, like a hat or a pair of shoes. It is meant to be our entire being.

Jesus himself talked about the kind of commitment it takes to follow Him. He said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23, NIV, emphasis mine). He doesn’t call us to take up our cross on Sundays, during business hours, when it’s convenient, or when we feel like it; he intends for us to be committed to him every day.

I want to be consumed by my love and devotion for Christ; I want to be driven by His heartbeat. I want everything I do to be a spiritual act. Will I truly be this way all the time? Not as long as I’m human. But I sincerely hope that I can align myself with the heart of Christ more and more.

Perhaps this could become a rallying cry for the revolution: the personal is spiritual.