Everywhere that Jesus went he gathered crowds. They pressed in on him for healing and they sought bread when they saw he could multiply loaves and fishes. They realized he was teaching with authority so he must be “someone” but they didn’t all want to reallyfollow him – at least not the way he was talking about.
Sure, they said they did. They could talk a good game. Like the guy in Luke 9 who answered Jesus this way when the Lord called him to be his disciple: “‘Permit me first to go and bury my father.'” (Luke 9:59) Maybe you think it was pretty hard hearted of Jesus not to allow the man to go to his own father’s funeral.
Actually, the father had not yet died. The man was really seeking a pass on serving Jesus until years down the road when all his personal business was out of the way. In his priority system the Lord was number two. Worse than that, he may have volunteered in no more than a cursory manner, kind of like when we say to someone: “Let’s do lunch” and then move on.
What would you have said if Jesus said to you: “follow me”? It’s easy to judge those who opted out back then but how many of us would do the same thing today? Can you think of anything you might say you needed to do first before accepting his invitation?
Decide now because this is what Jesus says about those who don’t count the cost: “‘No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.'” (Verse 62)