Read: Luke 9:51-62
As they went on the way, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” He said to another man, “Follow me!” But he said, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Jesus told him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Another man also said, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say good-bye to those at my home.” Jesus told him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Luke 9:57-62 (EHV)
Will I Follow Jesus?
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Have you ever tried to ride a fence? Not turned towards either side, but sitting on the fence with one leg on each side like riding a bike? It’s tough to ride a fence for very long. While riding a fence might give you a decent view for a little while, eventually it gets uncomfortable, even a little painful. Plus, you have to be careful about keeping your balance. If you tip too much either way, you can end up falling off the fence. It can be tough to ride a fence.
One day, Jesus met three men who seemed to be riding a fence. Would they follow Jesus or not? One of them came up to Jesus and said, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus had become pretty popular, so this man wanted to be one of his followers, to be part of the popular crowd. Yet Jesus told him that following him is not always popular. In fact, a follower of Jesus might even be asked to make sacrifices for Jesus. Would he follow or not?
Jesus asked another man to follow him, but the man told Jesus, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” The man loved his family, but his family was more important than Jesus. Jesus wanted the man to realize that following him needed to be more important than even his own family. Would he follow Jesus or not?
Another man came up to Jesus and said, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say goodbye to those at my home.” This man claimed that he would follow Jesus in the future, but his attention was pulled back in a different direction. Would he follow Jesus or not?
When it comes to us following Jesus, does it ever feel like riding a fence? We love to follow Jesus when it’s easy and fun, but what happens when following Jesus isn’t fun? Will we still follow him? What if following Jesus means going in a different direction than the people we love? Will we still follow Jesus? Remember this: Jesus never sat on a fence when it came to saving us. He looked ahead to the cross even though it meant rejection and separation from God because of our sins.
When it comes to you, Jesus didn’t ride the fence. Today he says, “Hop off the fence and follow me!”
Dear Jesus, thank you for not being hesitant about saving us. Thank you for going to the cross and paying for those times when we have hesitated to follow you. Help us to focus on you and follow you each day until you bring us home to heaven. Amen.
The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.
Questions for Younger Children
- Explain what it means to ride a fence.
- What makes following Jesus hard like riding a fence?
Questions for Elementary Age Children
- List three things or people that could distract you from following Jesus.
- What can help you focus on Jesus as you follow him?
Questions for Middle School and Above
- Why is it impossible to follow Jesus while “riding a fence?”
- In Luke 9:51, Jesus “set his face toward Jerusalem” where he would die on the cross. Explain what Jesus meant when he said: No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.