Talking the Talk, but Not Walking the Walk
Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” Then He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.” And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.” But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:57-62 NKJV
Whether it is shoes, clothes, a car, or a house, they all cost something. The cost is the amount paid or asked for a purchase, i.e., the price to be paid. Likewise, to be a true follower of Jesus Christ, you must [buy] the truth, and sell it not; get wisdom, and instruction, and understanding (Prov. 23:23). Many have said that God led me to join a certain church or work in a given ministry. With great boldness they testify and proclaim to others that “God called me”, “God sent me”, or “God told me.” But after the emotional excitement wears off, they seem to have forgotten what they said and loose their sense of commitment—why? Christians with half-hearted commitment talk the talk, but they don’t walk the walk of commitment.
What Is the Walk of Commitment? Following the Lord Jesus Christ and allowing Him to make you (Matt. 4:19), and continuing to follow, knowing the truth and letting the truth make you free (John 8:31-32). It is obligating your self to the Lord in faith and obedience; pledging and entrusting your life to Him; and, placing your trust in Him. This requires a total commitment and letting go of the things in the past that can come before or between you and your commitment.
In our text, Jesus encounters three half-hearted, would-be uncommitted disciples: (1) the first said to Jesus, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.” But this man changed his mind when Jesus told him of the cost of discipleship because his desire and motivation was—undoubtedly–prestige, provision, and material comfort. Jesus said to the second man, “follow Me” and this man said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” To say “Lord me first” obviously means that following Jesus and doing the work of the Kingdom would be second. This man had his priorities out of order. Jesus also said to the third man, “follow Me” and this man, like the second one, said, “Lord me first”—“let me first go and bid them farewell that are at my house.” This man had given-in to people pressures of his family and friends.
To follow Jesus Christ, there is a cost of discipleship and it cannot be paid by talking the talk, but only by walking the walk of commitment. “Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him” (Heb 10:38).