In Matthew 8 Jesus has conversations with a few people who are trying to follow him but run into issues. Here is how that conversation ends in Matthew 8:21-22,
“Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”
First, this man is already a disciple. He isn’t one of the 12 but he is a follower of Jesus. He has a stipulation to his response to Jesus’ call – “Yes, first let me…”
He isn’t ready to go. There are other things to do first. Loose ends to tie up. Some speculate the man’s father isn’t dead and this is a nice way of saying, “Let me go take care of my father who his very ill” request.
He isn’t alone. We make excuses all the time.
Relationships we hang onto that hurt our walk.
Addictions we can’t let go that hurt our walk.
Kinds of thinking we aren’t willing to let go of yet.
What is your, “Yes, first let me…”? You can’t say both “Yes” and “First…” When you say “Yes” to Jesus he comes first.
You can share it in the comments if you want to but I at least ask you to seriously consider that question and ask God to help you not say anything else is “first” except Jesus. This is an idolatry issue.
Hi Matt, I’ve been following this thread since you began it, and I feel both the call, and the ‘but first’. I was in a sort of discipleship relationship at a summer camp so I can see where you are headed with this, and I have never shed ALL of the habits that keep me from feeling closer to Jesus. I’m generally a skepical person who nonetheless accepts Jesus in my heart, and tries to keep a good relationship with people, be respectful of others and the Bible helps a bunch. I just don’t feel like I can walk away from it all without harming my family. That joke about 2 boats and a helicopter that God sent keeps me wondering about how much we are suppose to do under our own steam and when to place it in his arms.