Jesus invites ordinary people to be a part of His extraordinary work. But His invitation is anything but safe. It’s risky, treacherous, and even dangerous. It doesn’t cost us anything, but it demands everything. It’s a call for our faith to move beyond life as usual…to join a higher calling with a deeper surrender.
Open: Have you ever had something that you really wanted to do, but hesitancy hindered you from doing it? What stopped you from this “I’m in” moment?
Read: Luke 9; 1 Kings 19:19-21
1. Describe the context of Luke 9: What does it mean that Jesus was setting “His face toward Jerusalem?”
2. What makes Jesus’ statements in Luke 9:57-62 seem harsh? How does the context help our understanding of these statements? Describe the three different characters that are invited or desire to follow Jesus: Describe their responses? How are each unique? How do we express these same excuses? What makes following Jesus so difficult?
3. What do you make of Jesus’ response to the excuses given? How do these responses reveal that following Jesus calls us to consider wherever, whenever, and whatever is necessary? What excuses do you struggle with the most?
4. Describe the meaning of the following statement: “It is much easier to follow Jesus without a specific commitment.” In what ways do we attempt to live for Christ generally, but find it more difficult when it’s specific? What are specific things that God has asked you to do in your journey with Christ?
5. Jesus uses farming language that conjures memories of Elisha’s journey as a prophet. Describe Elisha’s journey in 1 Kings 19:19-21: How did Elisha respond to God’s invitation? How does this connect perfectly with Christ’s call to not “put your hand to the plow and look back?” What does this mean? How do our commitments, even good ones, keep us from the most important things with Christ?
Pray: Pray that you would have the courage to answer Christ’s call to wherever, whenever, and whatever in your spiritual journey.
Memorize/Meditate: Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:62 O