Scripture: Luke 9:51-62
1. Soon, we will be entering into the season of Lent, which is usually a season of repentance in the church. But repentance means “turn around.” So we’re entering a season where our spiritual reflection is meant to be about direction. Along these lines, take a minute to reflect on and ask yourself the following questions. What road are you on, spiritually speaking? Are you standing still or are you moving? Where are you coming from? What are you headed toward? Where is God on this road?
2. In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus takes 10 chapters to walk the road to Jerusalem which should be a short journey...Will suggests this is why, "on the Road to Jerusalem, Luke wants us to discover that so many of the things that give definition to our sense of the world aren’t what finally matter. What matters is WHO. What matters is the world we share with God and others while we walk down the road. What matters is HOW we walk the road, which is a road to God's kingdom" There is a lot to unpack in this! What do you think of it though? How do you think we are called to "walk the road"?
3. In exploration of these questions, read the passage for today. It is a tricky one so perhaps read it a couple times. What stands out to you? What do you think it means?
4. This passage is quite confusing because Jesus seems pretty intense and uncompassionate in it...Will says, "But here’s the thing. NOT only is Jesus setting a seriously high - and kind of unattractive, seemingly inhuman - standard of what it means to follow him, what Jesus demands of these followers doesn’t even seem consistent with his own behavior and tradition." What could be the reason for this? Knowing as we do that Jesus is compassionate, what else might Jesus be trying to demonstrate?
5. The three concerns outlined by each man symbolize some of the most relatable everyday concerns--home, death, and family. What do these concerns look like in your life today?
6. If you look closely Jesus is not actually saying the concerns don't matter but challenging the order of importance given to them. As Will says, "What Jesus is pointing his finger on is the fact that, on the one hand, they call him “Lord” – number one; the defining principle of life - but then, on the other hand, they treat his calling as second; secondary to the calls of normal life." This is relatable to how we live! If Jesus called you to something, what would be your, "Lord but first..." comments?
7. The questions asked to those journeying on the road throughout scripture is the following, "Are your pre-existing normal allegiances the first and governing principle in your life or is your allegiance and trust in God’s voice, God’s calling, God’s provision the first and governing principle in your life?" What is your answer?
8. The thing is, when we look to Jesus first, Jesus gives us the provision to care for all those other needs. It is not a matter of prioritizing Jesus and forgetting those concerns, but prioritizing Jesus and then being given what we need to better meet those other concerns. Have you ever experienced this? What would it look like for you to put God first, before addressing the other situations in your life?