Think About This: “Nothing can come before the will of God if we are going to discover and fulfill His plan for our lives. I’ve seen countless believers who drew back from obedience because of the intent of attending to their priorities first. How sad that they missed their callings”. – John Bevere
The “Me First” Entanglement
Posted on November 24, 2021 by Catey Stover in Freedom Fighters
“And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.” But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Luke 9:61-62 (NKJV)
Me first! A lot of us get tangled up in “me first”. Now there are some who say “me next” but that isn’t as entangling as “me first”. Some of us gathering at the Thanksgiving table will run into that family member or guest who has that “me first” mentality when it comes to the turkey. They’re the ones that make sure they get the exact portion of the turkey is first getting cut, which usually means the white meat (or the drumstick, depends on their greed).
However, I’ll admit to you that ain’t me. Au Contraire, I’m the guy who waits for you all to get outta my way so I can get to the part that has been sitting in the bottom of the pan, the dark meat stuff that has been soaking in butter and fat (this is probably the reason I’ve been seeing a cardiologist recently). I’ll take all that turkey goodness and dump it over a pile of stuffing, pour gravy all over it and use a spoon like a shovel to feed my face until it’s pumpkin gooey stuff time. Anyway…this Freedom Fighter ain’t about gluttony, so I better move on.
In Luke’s Gospel (the end of chapter 9 to be exact) Jesus is traveling from one village to another when seemingly outta the blue someone in the crowd say, “I will follow You wherever You go” (Luke 9:57b). But Jesus says something that is very matter of fact…
“The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head” — Luke 9:58
Was this Jesus’ way of saying, “You better count the cost of following Me before you commit yourself”? I believe so and in the following verses we’ll see just how folks get tangled up in “me first” as Jesus will display three things that can hold people up in fully committing themselves in following Him.
To the first person who said “I’ll follow” Jesus will point out a person’s security. By saying He had no place to lay His head down meant Jesus didn’t have an established home. For all of us who have read our Bibles correctly, we know Jesus roamed from one point to another. This meant He stayed with many who opened their homes to Him. For some of us, it may be good to follow the Savior during the day, but we want to be able to “go home” when the day is done.
So, as they go along Jesus will go to another and say, “Follow Me”. But this dude says, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” Now this guy probably wants to fulfill the oldest son’s duty to be near the father for his burial and to receive the inheritance but Jesus will say “Leave the dead to bury their own dead, as for you, go and proclaim the Kingdom of God” (Luke 9:60). I would venture to say that Jesus had a plan for this man and it’s quite possible that gaining a finical inheritance would have hindered his use for the Kingdom.
Finally, we get to a person who says, “I will follow you, but let me first say farewell to those at my house” (Luke 9:61). Jesus’ reply, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Any one reading this who is a gardener of some sort knows that looking back while plowing doesn’t make for a straight line. Sometimes this is how relationships can go. We can be so attached to the crowd we’re hanging with, that we just don’t wanna leave without our hugs and kisses. But if we are to walk this narrow road with Jesus, we have to keep our eyes focused on the prize we’ll receive in Him.
“Let me first” will do us in all the time when it comes to Kingdom principles. The entanglements of security, money, relationships (and other stuff as well) are always a danger of being in the way of God’s calling in lives. This is why it is important that we all understand the cost of following Jesus. Now this doesn’t mean Jesus doesn’t want you to have none of this stuff, once again, au contraire, this just means you can’t them in front of Jesus. That’s idolatry and that never ends well for the folks who do that. As for me, it’s turkey, gravy and stuffing time…after giving thanks to the One who provides. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a husband, a father, has an education in Biblical doctrine and is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy. He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. –Ephesians 5:1-2