of a Man Who Used His Father
An Excuse Not To Follow Christ
In Matthew 8:21-22,
Jesus nipped the excuse, of not serving him because of parental obligation, in the bud--he wasn't having any of it.
I knew a man who,
after coming to Christ, needed some intensive discipleship. His life had been devastated by criminal activity, drug addiction
and various other strongholds.
He agreed that
he needed to enroll in a long term Christian Rehab/discipleship program and began the process of following the call
of Jesus to forsake all and follow him.
I felt very strongly
that the Holy Spirit was instructing me to give the chaplain (that was helping this man) some scripture references
for him (with instructions to give it to him only if he appeared to be faltering in his resolve to leave all and follow
I wrote the scriptures
on a sheet of paper and left them with the Chaplain in a sealed envelope.
was the one where Jesus issued a call to a prospective disciple, and the man said, "let me go and bury my Father first."
said, "Let the dead bury the dead..."
Jesus went on
to say that no one having put their hand to the plow (of following and serving him), and then looks back
is worthy of him.
These two scriptures
were in the sealed envelope that the man in question never laid eyes on, because he used his ailing Father as
an excuse to not even show up for his final appointment with the Chaplain.
What is the
end of this story?
The man's Father
died in less than one month
man did not get to bury his Father
You see, he walked
out on Jesus and took a job which placed him on the West coast, which was where he was at when his Father (who
lived on the East coast) died.
It was going to
take him several days to make it to the East coast for the funeral (he did not have the money for plane fare), and his step-mother
refused to hold the funeral until he arrived.
his Father without him.
Had he refused
to use his Father as an excuse not to follow Jesus, he would have been a mere 8 hours away (and also would have had assistance
in getting to the funeral).
He would have
been able to bury his Father.
will deal with us for years to follow him...
will ask only once
Either way, he
is clear on what he thinks of those who use familial obligations not to follow him:
He says they, " are not worthy" of