Lord, I will follow Thee whithersoever Thou goest. Luke 9:57.
Our Lord’s attitude to this man is one of severe discouragement because He knew what was in man. We would have said—‘Fancy losing the opportunity of winning that man!’ ‘Fancy bringing about a north wind that froze him and turned him away discouraged!’ Never apologize for your Lord. The words of the Lord hurt and offend until there is nothing left to hurt or offend. Jesus Christ has no tenderness whatever toward anything that is ultimately going to ruin a man in the service of God. Our Lord’s answers are based not on caprice, but on a knowledge of what is in man. If the Spirit of God brings to your mind a word of the Lord that hurts you, you may be sure that there is something He wants to hurt to death.
v. 58. These words knock the heart out of serving Jesus Christ because it is pleasing to me. The rigour of rejection leaves nothing but my Lord, and myself, and a forlorn hope. ‘Let the hundredfold come or go, your lodestar must be your relationship to Me, and I have nowhere to lay My head.’
v. 59. This man did not want to disappoint Jesus, nor to hurt his father. We put sensitive loyalty to relatives in place of loyalty to Jesus Christ and Jesus has to take the last place. In a conflict of loyalty, obey Jesus Christ at all costs.
v. 61. The one who says—‘Yes, Lord, but . . .’ is the one who is fiercely ready, but never goes. This man had one or two reservations. The exacting call of Jesus Christ has no margin of good-byes, because good-bye, as it is often used, is pagan, not Christian. When once the call of God comes, begin to go and never stop going.