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Luke 9:57-62

Sunday Morning Bible Study

November 29, 2015


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it address the person who is: Empty, lonely, guilty, or afraid to die? Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved? Regular: 2900 words Communion: 2500 words Video=75wpm

Luke was a doctor and a travelling companion of the apostle Paul.

He wrote this book while Paul was in prison.

In writing this book about Jesus, Luke made use of other older documents like the Gospel of Mark, as well as extensive eyewitness accounts.

Jesus’ ministry is well under way, and the people have been amazed not just at the things He’s been teaching, but the things He’s been doing.

Jesus is on the road to Jerusalem.

As He is traveling, there are people who want to join His band of disciples.

Earlier we read

(Luke 9:49–50 NKJV) —49 Now John answered and said, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow with us.” 50 But Jesus said to him, “Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us is on our side.”
Though there were some who were doing work in Jesus’ name without being part of Jesus’ band of disciples, there are going to be some who will want to join, and others who will be asked to join.

9:57-62 Full Discipleship

:57 Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.”

:57 as they journeyed on the road

journeyedporeuomai – to lead over, carry over, transfer; to pursue the journey on which one has entered, to continue on one’s journey

Jesus was raised in the city of Nazareth.

We have called the city of Capernaum his “base of operations” because He spent more time there than other cities.

For 3 ½ years, Jesus was basically an itinerant preacher.

He moved from place to place.
This conversation doesn’t take place in His living room, but on the road.

:57 someone said to Him

Matthew calls him a “scribe” (Mat. 8:19)

(Matthew 8:19 NKJV) Then a certain scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.”

:57 Lord, I will follow You wherever You go

Lordkurios – he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; master, lord

I will followakoloutheo – to follow one who precedes, join him as his attendant, accompany him; to join one as a disciple, become or be his disciple; side with his party

Future active indicative

goaperchomai – to go away, depart; to go away in order to follow any one, go after him, to follow his party, follow him as a leader; to go away

Present, deponent, subjunctive

This man has stepped forward and asked to join with Jesus’ group of disciples.

This man seems to have no conditions to his statement.

But not really.  Jesus will challenge the man’s heart.

: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.”

:58 Foxes … birds

Even animals have places they call home.

foxesalopex – a fox; metaph. a sly or crafty man

holespholeos – a lurking hole, a burrow; a lair

birdspeteinon – flying, winged; flying or winged animals, birds; the birds of the heaven, i.e. flying in the heaven (air)

have nestskataskenosis – the pitching of tents, encamping; place of tarrying, encampment, abode; of the nest of birds

:58 but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head

to layklino – transitively; to incline, bow; to cause to fall back; to recline; in a place for repose

The title “Son of Man” does refer to the humanity of Jesus.

But it also has a Messianic significance.
Daniel the prophet described the Son of Man as a glorious individual who would one day rule the nations with the authority of God (Dan. 7:13-14)
(Daniel 7:13–14 NKJV) —13 “I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. 14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed.
This person has no home.


Ok with uncomfortable

I imagine that when people seeing something going well, they would like to go along for the ride.
Big crowds have been following Jesus.
Yet for the 33 years that He was on the earth, the glorious Son of Man did not live a “glorious” life.
A child is born in an obscure village. He is brought up in another obscure village. He works in a carpenter shop until he is thirty, and then for three brief years is an itinerant preacher, proclaiming a message and living a life. He never writes a book. He never holds an office. He never raises an army. He never has a family of his own. He never owns a home. He never goes to college. He never travels two hundred miles from the place where he was born. He gathers a little group of friends about him and teaches them his way of life. While still a young man, the tide of popular feeling turns against him. One denies him; another betrays him. He is turned over to his enemies. He goes through the mockery of a trial; he is nailed to a cross between two thieves, and when dead is laid in a borrowed grave by the kindness of a friend. Those are the facts of his human life. He rises from the dead. Today we look back across nineteen hundred years and ask, What kind of trail has he left across the centuries? When we try to sum up his influence, all the armies that ever marched, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned are absolutely picayune in their influence on mankind compared with that of this one solitary life.

It is thought that this is the original essay by Dr James Allan Francis in "The Real Jesus and Other Sermons" C 1926 by the Judson Press of Philadelphia (pp 123-124 titled "Arise Sir Knight!"). Graham Pockett

Here is one of the problems I have with these “prosperity” teachers on TBN.
They make it sound as if you come to Jesus you will become healthy and wealthy.
This message appeals to people who would rather “get more”, than give to others.  Like last Friday …
Video:  Black Friday Brawls
Here’s a guy working with his friends to surprise others by paying for their groceries.  He’s giving rather than receiving.
Video: Man pays for stranger’s groceries
Living the Christian life is not about your comfort.
There are no immediate perks to following Jesus.

He isn’t offering a 401k plan or medical insurance.

Don’t get me wrong.
There is great reward in following after Jesus.
But the real rewards come when we get to heaven.

:59 Then He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”

:59 He said to another, “Follow Me.”

followakoloutheo – to follow one who precedes, join him as his attendant, accompany him; to join one as a disciple, become or be his disciple; side with his party

Jesus challenged this fellow to follow Him. Luke doesn’t record that Jesus made that offer to the previous fellow.

Some people decide in themselves they are going to follow.
Others need to be challenged to follow.

This man is a “casual disciple”. He’s around Jesus, but has not yet made the commitment to actually seriously “follow” Jesus.

When Jesus challenges him to get serious about following, he offers up an excuse.

:59 let me first go and bury my father

let meepitrepo – to permit, allow

Aorist active imperative

goaperchomai – to go away, depart; to go away in order to follow any one, go after him, to follow his party, follow him as a leader; to go away

burythapto – to bury, inter

Burying your parents is a sacred duty.

When Abraham died,
(Genesis 25:9 NKJV) And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite,
The people of Jesus’ day would have been familiar with the book of Tobit, which is part of the Apocrypha.
We don’t look at the Apocrypha as inspired Scripture (like the Catholic church does), but it has interesting things that give us insight into ancient times.
Tobit is the story of a righteous man named Tobit, who lived in Nineveh after the fall of the northern kingdom. He had a son named Tobias who would travel to Media to marry a girl named Sarah. Before he leaves on his journey, his dad has some instructions:

(Tobit 4:3 NRSV) Then he called his son Tobias, and when he came to him he said, “My son, when I die, give me a proper burial. Honor your mother and do not abandon her all the days of her life. Do whatever pleases her, and do not grieve her in anything.

Tobias would marry his wife, go back home, and eventually bury his father and mother before returning to Media with his wife.

Some Jews took this as an obligation of a son to be there to bury his parents.

This fellow with Jesus has not recently lost his father.

Even today, when a Jew dies, they are buried immediately.
If the dad was already dead, the fellow would have buried him before following Jesus.

It is more likely that the fellow is talking about what he feels his obligations are to his parents.

He feels that he shouldn’t go and preach until his parents die.
That means I wouldn’t have started my ministry until this year.

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

:60 Let the dead bury their own dead

deadnekros – properly; one that has breathed his last, lifeless; deceased, departed, one whose soul is in heaven or hell; spiritually dead

burythapto – to bury, inter

A better way to understand this is …

Let those who are spiritually dead take care of burying those who are literally dead.
Sounds kind of callous, doesn’t it?
A spiritually alive father would allow his son to follow Jesus.
This man is using his spiritually dead father as an excuse for not getting serious about Jesus.

:60 Let the dead

Letaphiemi – to permit, allow

Aorist active imperative

This may be a different word translated “let” than in vs. 59, but the concept is the same.

The fellow wanted Jesus to give him “permission” to wait to first bury his father. Jesus told the man to give the “dead” permission to bury their own dead.


Take Responsibility

This is about learning to take responsibility for your own decisions.

A game hunter went on safari with his wife and mother-in-law. One morning, while deep in the forest, the wife awoke to find her mother gone. Rushing to her husband, she insisted on them both trying to find her mother. The hunter picked up his rifle and started to look for her. In a clearing not far from the camp, they came upon a chilling sight: the mother-in-law was backed up against a big rock, a large lion stood right in front of her. The wife cried, “What are we going to do?” “Nothing,” said the hunter husband. “How can you just do nothing?” the wife screamed at him. “The lion got himself into this mess, let him get himself out of it.”

Just like the lion, it’s important to learn to take responsibility for your own life.

Sometimes we are wanting to use Jesus as an excuse for doing or not doing things.
We want to put the blame on the person in authority.
I have heard people over the years use all sorts of Scripture to justify their reason for not taking a step of obedience to follow Jesus.
In reality, we need to realize that we have the authority to make decisions in our lives.
This man wants Jesus to make up his mind for him. He wants Jesus to say it’s okay for him to stay home.
Instead, Jesus is telling the man that he has the authority to give permission here.

He gives him the authority to give permission to the dead to bury their own dead.

Learn to take responsibility over your own life.
Don’t blame Jesus for the things that you decide.

:60 but you go and preach the kingdom of God

There is a single command (imperative) here, the word “preach”

goaperchomai – to go away, depart; to go away in order to follow any one

aorist active participle
“But you, while going, preach…”

preachdiaggello – to carry a message through, announce everywhere, through places, through assemblies of men etc.

Present active imperative


Family and priorities

God is concerned that you have a healthy family life.
Our marriages are supposed to be a picture to the world of what Christ’s love is all about.

(Ephesians 5:25 NKJV) Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,

Moms and Dads have a responsibility to love their kids and teach them about God.

(Ephesians 6:4 NKJV) And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

Of course raising kids is not difficult at all…

Video: When We Have Kids

Paul taught that kids ought to be taking care of their parents in their old age.

(1 Timothy 5:8 NKJV) But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Yet as important as family is to God, sometimes family can stand in the way of what God is wanting to do in your life.
God wants to be your first priority in life. He wants the right to out “vote” what others say you should be doing with your life.

(Matthew 10:37 NKJV) He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.

Luke records Jesus saying it in an even harsher way. Even though we are to love our families, compared to how we love God, our love for our families might even seem like “hate”.

(Luke 14:26 NKJV) “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.

This all takes great balance.
Some people make the mistake of using God as their excuse to ignore their family.

They sacrifice their family on the altar of the church.

They spend every waking moment at church and neglect their family.

That’s not God’s heart.

I don’t come to everything we do at church.  There’s too much.

On the other hand, other people allow their family to have such sway on them, that they never obey the call of God on their life.

They are more concerned about disappointing their parents or their spouse than they are with pleasing God.

Even though God must take first priority, we need to bring a healthy balance in our priorities.

:61 And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.”

:61 Lord, I will follow You

followakoloutheo – to follow one who precedes, join him as his attendant, accompany him; to join one as a disciple, become or be his disciple; side with his party

Future active indicative
Just like fellow #1.

This fellow is like the first one. He has come to declare he wants to follow Jesus.

:61 but let me first go

letepitrepo – to turn to, transfer, commit, instruct; to permit, allow, give leave

go … bid … farewellapotassomai – to set apart, separate; to separate one’s self, withdraw one’s self from anyone; to take leave of, bid farewell to; to renounce, forsake

houseoikos – a house; the inmates of a house, all the persons forming one family, a household

This fellow wants Jesus to meet some conditions before he decides to completely follow Jesus.

Remember, Jesus is on the road. If this fellow is talking with Jesus, then he’s already left those at home to be on the road with Jesus.

:62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

:62 having put his hand to the plow

putepiballo – to cast upon, to lay upon; to throw one’s self upon, rush in; to put one’s mind upon a thing; attend to

Aorist active participle

plowarotron – a plough

lookingblepo – to see, discern, of the bodily eye

backopiso – back, behind, after, afterwards; of place: things that are behind

This isn’t someone who is meeting Jesus for the first time.

This is a man who has already decided to follow Jesus, but is having second thoughts.

He’s already put his hand to the plow.

This is an ancient agricultural proverb that goes back at least 750 BC (the Greek poet Hesiod used it).

From the most ancient of times, the man guiding the plow made it his aim to plow a straight furrow.
Plowing a straight furrow requires that you keep looking forward.
The Roman author Pliny (AD 23-79) wrote that the ploughman who does not bend attentively to his work goes crooked (Robertson)

:62 No one…looking back, is fit

fit euthetos – well placed; useful

To plough straight furrows, you need to be looking forward.  To be useful, you need to be moving forward.

The man has already come out to follow Jesus. They’re on the road.  Why does he need to go back to his family and bid them farewell?

I’d say he’s beginning to have second thoughts.

A decision to follow Jesus is a serious one.


Second thoughts

Serious decisions require that you count the cost.
(Luke 14:25–30 NKJV) —25 Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.
We’ve already dealt with this concept…
27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it29 lest, after he has laid the 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.’
Building a tower requires a lot of planning, materials, and hard work.
A wise builder will make sure he has enough to finish a project before he starts.


Moving Forward

Sometimes it’s not so easy to stay on your feet.
Video:  Ridiculous Slip Shoveling Snow
Even when you’re on your feet, it’s not always easy to move forward…
Video: Wind Walking in Norway
I think there is value to recognizing where you have come from, what’s behind you.
I think there can be value in realizing that some of your past has made you what you are today, and you need to deal with it.
Sometimes a person struggling with addiction will find that unresolved issues in their past continue to haunt them and trigger them to relapse again and again.

Until you learn to deal with the past, it’s hard to move forward.

Yet there can be such a thing as a person who is simply stuck in the past.
All through your life you rehash the same issues, replaying that same thing that hurt you over and over again.
Your life is like a farmer trying to plough a straight furrow, but you’re driving the tractor looking over your shoulder.
Some things in life don’t work so well when you’re moving backwards.

Video:  Backwards Bicycle Fail

How well would you do if you decided to drive backwards on the freeway?

Video:  Chinese Woman Backwards on Highway

There comes a point in life where you have to learn to deal with certain things in your past and move forward.

Sometimes there are people who have hurt you that you simply have to learn to let it go. Learn go forgive.

Holding that grudge may come in handy when that person continues to disappoint you. You can always pull it out of its “grudge case” and use it against that other person. But you have to learn to let it go because it is hurting you more than its hurting the other person.

There are some things in life where you are not going to be able to do anything about it. It was a tragedy. No one was to blame. And you have to learn to move on.

Paul is talking about becoming a mature believer when he writes,
(Philippians 3:12–14 NKJV) —12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Are you ready to let go of the past and move forward?