The Walk: Week 4 – Day 3, “Excuses”
Week 4 – Day 3, “Excuses”
Jesus called us to absolute obedience. Throughout his life Jesus gave many clear commands. He said: Love your neighbor. Live as children of God. Practice contentment and compassion. Live in sexual purity, pray faithfully, obey God’s commandments, and make disciples of all nations. There’s a place in Luke 6 where he is giving these kinds of teachings and he stops and asks: “Why do you call me Lord, and do not do the things that I say?”
It is interesting that he asks that question. Why do we fail to obey? Let me put it this way, “What is your best excuse for not giving Christ your complete commitment and obedience?” What makes that especially interesting is the fact that later in this same chapter in Luke Jesus encounters three people, three examples of people who seem to have some issue or even excuse when it comes to following Christ. We’ll look at the first example today and the second and third tomorrow.
The first example is in Luke 9:57. It says: As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” At first it seems that the man’s offer is open ended but I think we have to read between the lines. Scripture often speaks of Jesus knowing what is in men’s hearts. Look at what Jesus says, verse 58, Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” It is as if Jesus senses that this man has a deep commitment to a certain standard of living that is so much an assumption of his life that he hasn’t truly considered all the issues involved in true commitment to Jesus.
From your experience and observations what are some of the things people today might have a huge struggle with in regards to following Jesus. What are some of the things people might have the hardest time “giving up”?
Have you ever had to give up something that was especially difficult ? If so what was it and why did you choose to let it go?
Sometimes people come to church and say they are following Christ but then as they learn more they encounter something they didn’t know they were going to be asked to give up. Maybe it’s the issue of money and tithing or sexual purity or serving others… but when it surfaces clearly they stop. They say, “I didn’t know that following Christ meant that.” You see that’s the problem. Sometimes we don’t even know how many things we hold as our own, as our rights or “basics”. We don’t realize that Christ has to have our obedience even in those areas. What Jesus is doing is surfacing the most basic of needs, shelter, and saying you have to obey him even if it costs you that. He is destroying all our excuses.
Continue reading the Bible. Keep reading the gospel of John. If you are reading a lot and finish John consider reading Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians or Luke. Or ask the group or person you are doing The Walk with to make suggestions. The important thing is to try to be consistent in your reading. Write down your questions, thoughts and insights as you read. Don’t forget to review your memory verse from last week and this week.