Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Friday after the Fifth Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on July 5, 2024 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: St. Luke 9:57-62 (NKJV)
9:57 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 And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.”
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.”
Three men in our reading desired to follow Jesus. Jesus forbade none of them, but He did instruct them about what sort of faith was required. The first man was very enthusiastic about following Jesus, but his faith evidently lacked root. He was like the seed which fell on rocky ground in the Parable of the Sower (Luke 8:13). Jesus prepared the man’s weak faith for a life under the cross when He said, “the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” By contrast, the second and third men were sluggish in their faith. Each of them looked back on their attachments to the world. They were in danger of becoming like Lot’s wife, who turned into a pillar of salt when she looked back toward Sodom as it was perishing.
The circumstances and temptations for each of these men was unique, but the general admonition from the Lord applies to us: “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” In order to follow Christ, we must be willing to forsake all that would hinder our faith. “Farewell I gladly bid thee, false, evil world, farewell” (TLH 407). None of us can produce this faith in ourselves. It must be given to us by God. The Collect printed below is an excellent prayer for such faith.
Collect: O God, Who hast prepared for them that love Thee such good things as pass man’s understanding: Pour into our hearts such love toward Thee, that we, loving Thee above all things, may obtain Thy promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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