Jesus interacted with lots of would-be followers during His earthly ministry, and we can learn a lot from these encounters (Luke 9:57-62). For starters, Jesus never hid the costs of following Him. On one occasion, someone told Christ “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go” (Luke 9:57). Jesus informed him that “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests. But the Son of Man has no place to lay His head” (Luke 9:58).
Typically, this response is seen as a warning of sorts. In other words, following Jesus isn’t going to be comfortable, so prepare accordingly. While this is true, Jesus wasn’t just warning this guy. He was also giving him an opportunity to live a life free from worrying about possessions. He made a similar offer to a rich young ruler (Mark 10:17-27). After all, if someone doesn’t care about where they sleep at night, they probably aren’t worried about maintaining a home, a mortgage payment, property taxes, alarm systems and other worries which come with owning a house.
Certainly, there’s nothing wrong with owning a home or having possessions. The point is that these worldly things shouldn’t control us or get in the way of our devotion to God. When a young man wanted to bury his dad before following Jesus, the Lord told him “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But you go and preach the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:60). Again, we see that one of the costs of following Christ is that He becomes our top priority. Likewise, we see how detached Jesus was from the things of this world. There’s nothing wrong with funerals or any such events. I mean, even Jesus attended a wedding (John 2:1-12). The issue is that these things can’t come between us and God. They can’t be used as leverage by Satan to drive a wedge between us and the Lord. They can’t be used to distract us from the call of God on our lives. They can’t be used to bribe us into turning our back on the Lord. The importance of this last point is stressed in another account, where a young man wanted to say goodbye to his family before following Christ. Jesus told him “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back at things is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62).
Christians are the walking dead. We died with Christ, we were buried with Him in baptism and we have been raised to new life in Him (Romans 6:3-5). We’re new creations in Christ; our old, sinful lifestyles are dead and buried (2 Corinthians 5:17). We’re dead to sin and alive to God (Romans 6:11). Since we have been freed from sin in Christ and become His slaves, we have the ability to walk in holiness and we can eagerly look forward to eternal life with Him (Romans 6:22). Now that’s something to get excited about.
Ultimately, this world cannot overpower us or overcome us. Indeed, the things of this world don’t have any sway over us anymore (Galatians 6:14). That’s why Christians are so dangerous. We won’t be distracted, bribed or intimidated; we’re going to follow Jesus fully no matter what. We have been branded for Christ (Galatians 6:17). We’ve been bought with a price; our lives now completely belong to Him (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Let’s live accordingly.