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  • Becky Carriker

Sunday sermon, 2/18/2024

THE REALITIES OF FOLLOWING JESUS ON HIS JOURNEY TO THE CROSS


Luke 9:51–62 ‘Now when the days were reaching fulfillment for his departure, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.’ 52 and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. 53 But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. 54 And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” 55 But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. 56 For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village.

57 Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, “Lord, 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 Then He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.”

61 Another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me go and say good-bye to those at my house.” 62 But Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.


Luke 9:51 is the hinge of Luke’s gospel; for it is here that Jesus starts the final leg of his journey to Jerusalem and the cross. 


Luke 9:51-62 shows us clearly the realities we face if we follow Jesus on his journey to the cross. 


The Reality of All In Commitment (v. 51)


Luke 9:30–31 And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in glory and spoke of his exodus, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.


The word “departure” here can refer to death but also means ‘taking up’ or ‘ascension.’ 


The first portion of His ‘departure’ is His suffering and death, and that is the focus of His commitment.


Isaiah 50:5–7 The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious; I did not turn back. 6 I gave my back to those who beat me, and my cheeks to those who tore out my beard. I did not hide my face from scorn and spitting. 7 The Lord God will help me; therefore I have not been humiliated; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame. 


He ‘set his face as a flint’ to face the brutal suffering in store for Him. 


Luke 18:31-33 “We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be delivered over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him and spit on him; they will flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again.” 


Jesus will be victimized and vindicated. That is His commitment.


Sometimes, we, His servants must make a similar commitment. 


The reality of correction verses 52–56. 


James and John fired up about the honor of Jesus. He had been rejected and dishonored and it bothered them terribly. 


The principle of ‘correction’: one may have hold of a right insight (the honor of Jesus) and yet wrongly apply it in certain circumstances. 


The reality of clarity verses 57–62: all discipleship must be seen in light of the cross (9:51).


The reality of Three possible disciples:


The first claims he will follow Jesus wherever He goes: the reality of his presumptuous faith. 


Then Jesus Himself calls another fellow (v. 59a): the realities of priority and the urgency of proclaiming the kingdom. 


We too have to watch that our loyalties do not become our idolatries.


The ‘but-first-er’ (v. 61): the dangerous reality of a divided heart.


Luke 14:27-30,33 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 33 So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.

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