It seems like the call to follow Jesus comes along with a commission to proclaim the kingdom of God to those in our community. It also looks quite obvious that Jesus simply turned people away when they were more interested in caring for their own needs. He wanted those who would be committed to the proclamation of the kingdom.
This is clearly evident in his statement “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9) This same concept is implied in the statement “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” The plow clearly indicates an expectation to be a “worker” for the kingdom to proclaim the good news.
But what if I want to be a disciple of Jesus and just coast? I suppose I’ll have entry into the kingdom settled because of the finished work of Jesus on the cross. I’ll go on with my own tasks as I wish. This sounds like a nice plan to me, but to Jesus, this was not an option.
I see this idea even more in the parable of the talents. The master wasn’t concerned with the people just using the talents entrusted to them. He wanted results. The profits had to be real.
When we read the text in this way it may be troubling. It’s actually disturbing. It disturbs my comfortable life and challenges me to rethink my faith and calling.
Maybe your love for God needs to permeate every aspect of your life. It ought to be so valuable that nothing matters more.
In fact, you need to be so driven and captivated by God’s love for you that you’ve got to tell everyone else. You can’t keep it to yourself. That seems to be what Jesus expects.
Now, what about the people Jesus spoke to in Luke 9? Yes, take care of all your social responsibilities (The response of Jesus was just a hyperbole). Be caring and faithful to your family. But Jesus has to be number one. Proclaiming his kingdom must supersede everything else. The called are also commissioned.
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