What About Now?
He said to another man, “follow me.” But the man replied, “Lord, first le me go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” – Luke 9:59-60
Years ago, I had a conversation with a young man about following Jesus. He told me a line that for some reason I have never forgotten. He said, “I can’t do it right now. Before I can become old and wise, I must first be young and stupid.” I simply said, “No, you can choose to be stupid, but you don’t have to be.” Interestingly enough, that young man is currently in prison. The reason I tell you that is because this young man did exactly what the man did in the verses. He said, “Yes, I will eventually follow, but not right now. Now is not a good time.”
Now, to be fair, Jesus does sound pretty hardcore right here. I mean, let the dude go bury his dad if there is a funeral is taking place, right? But, most scholars agree that was probably not was going on here. Dad was alive and well, but maybe didn’t care too much for the carpenter from Nazareth. Maybe this wannabe stood to lose his share of an inheritance if he associated with Jesus. Whatever the reason, now was not a good time to follow Jesus.
I have learned that it does not matter what stage of life you are in, there is always an excuse to not follow Jesus. He continually extends the invitation, “Follow me,” but it is up to you to accept or reject His offer.
If you are in high school, it will cost you popularity to follow Jesus. As soon as you reject the party crowd and all the illegal drinking, drug using and sexual immorality that goes along with it, you will be rejected by those you think are your friends. For this reason, many say, “Lord, I’ll follow you, but first let me get out of high school.”
In college, you find that the party scene is ten times better than anything you saw in high school. Plus, you don’t even have to worry about going home and facing your parents. Therefore, many say, “Lord, I will follow you, I meant that when I said it in high school, but first let me get out of college.”
When these students finally graduate, many get married and get jobs. They find that the drinking habits don’t just magically disappear. They find that marriage does not cure their pornography addiction nor does it cure their other sexual addictions. They find that to get ahead in this corporate world you have to be dishonest. Yet, there is Jesus, offering the invitation, “Follow me.” Many say, “Lord, I will follow, but first let me get my home and my finances in order. I just don’t have time right now.”
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how “many” respond, it matters how you respond. How have you responded to the invitation of Jesus to “follow me”?
There will always be a reason to not follow Jesus. No matter what stage of life you are in, there is always an excuse. Satan loves when a wannabe follower of Jesus says, “Not now, later.”
Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
No turning back.