October 03, 2011

Luke 9.57->

As they were going along the road a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go."

Jesus answered, "Foxes have their holes, the birds their roosts; but this son of Adam has no place to lay his head."

To another he said, "Follow me," but the man replied, "Let me go and bury my father first." Jesus said, "Leave the dead to bury their dead; you must go and announce the kingdom of God."

Yet another said, "I will follow you, sir; but first let me say goodbye to my people at home."

To him Jesus said, "No one who sets his hand to the plough and then keeps looking back is fit for the kingdom of God."

2 Comments:

At 3:10 p.m., Blogger Random Arrow said...

I’ve heard a few sermons on this passage in churches I’ve visited (work related stuff) over a few years. Some liberal mainline. Some fundamentalist churches. They both find moralizing themes. The cost of discipleship. Mainlines trot out Bohnoeffer. Fundamentalists (say Baptists) trot out favorite missionaries like Lottie Moon. I’m going to watch the Ken Burns documentary again soon – Susan Anthony and Cady Stanton. We get our favorites too.

I’m not objecting to any of it. It’s interesting stuff. Educational.

I’m not certain my feeling for this text is any better. It’s just that I wonder about this particular context. Text in context. Jesus isn’t taking on newbies. Not now. No time left for mentorship. What’s coming isn’t pretty. And ugly is coming soon. Quite soon. I see mercy. Not judgment. Jesus is turning down new applicants at this particular time. It’s context. It’s not the right time. Many of these people (Samaritans in the former example, the in-house nationals in this verse) might come around later. In the future. Maybe. There’s no reason to close the door against their future chances. Even the inner circle of rascally disciples bailed. After a few years of in-house training. Jesus is having mercy here. Mercy on newbies.

Fanciful interpretation, yes. There’s some good stuff in the moralizing interpretations too. Just a feeling.

 
At 10:58 p.m., Blogger forrest said...

The system ate my previous comment on this one.

But yes, this is not about saying you need to be a paragon of dedication for God to love you or to save you a cushy place in the "afterlife."

It looks to be a functional sort of thing: There's this urgent task to be done; and it doesn't fit into your spare time.

That's scary. Because the world still looks pretty urgent, and I don't feel drawn to full-time dedication... or ready for that... or necessarily assigned to that.

But what must be accomplished will be, not because of who I am, but because of who God is.

 

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