v 19 One of the teachers of religious law said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”
Called, but challenged.
Following Jesus is the death of self. The man who said ‘ .. first let me .. ‘ had not appreciated the NOW factor. Following Jesus closely does not allow for any other priority. Hence we find ‘But Jesus told him, “Follow me now. ‘ (v 22)
I’m sure that many of you who are parents have had to emphasise the NOW when you have found something your child needed to do. “Yes, homework NOW please, then you can ….” Delaying tactics are also well-known at bedtime; “Just let me … “ and you have had to be firm and say, “No, upstairs NOW please.”
Now is a little word that demands an immediate and obedient response – and not a selfish plea of ‘Just let me first … ‘
It is very easy to make a decision to follow Jesus, to sign on the line as it were, and then for selfish desires to cloud the decision-making process. “I want … “ has to be relegated to the sidelines when it clashes with what we know God wants. Paul puts it strongly when he writes ‘My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. ‘ (Galatians 2:20)
Self-centredness dies when we learn to say yes to the NOW of Jesus.