Luke 9:51-62 Reflection: Rejecting Jesus and the Cost of Following Him

A reading from the gospel according to Luke 9:51-62

51 When the days for Jesus’ being taken up were fulfilled, he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem,
52 and he sent messengers ahead of him. On the way they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there,
53 but they would not welcome him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem.
54 When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?”
55 Jesus turned and rebuked them,
56 and they journeyed to another village.
57 As they were proceeding on their journey someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
58 Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.”
59 And to another, he said, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.”
60 But he answered him, “Let the dead bury their dead. But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
61 And another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say farewell to my family at home.”
62 To him, Jesus said, “No one who sets a hand to the plough and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Points for this Gospel Reflection
1. The Samaritan village rejected Jesus. They did not welcome Him because they have a different agenda or traditional belief. Do we also have some beliefs that may hinder us from accepting Jesus as our Lord and Master?

2. The disciples wanted to take revenge by calling fire from heaven to consume them; perhaps recalling what the great Prophet Elijah did. Somehow, we are like these disciples. As human beings, we have the tendency to punish right away anyone who reject us or contradict us. But not Jesus. He gives people enough time to repent and accept Him.

3. They journeyed to another village. Jesus wants to teach us that there are far more people who are willing to listen than those have hearts of stone who refuse. While God wants everyone to be saved, perhaps we need to focus our preaching on the willing souls for the time being.

4. If Jesus were alive today and He has social media page, how many of us would like and follow His account? He has nowhere to rest His head and even foxes and birds are better off than Him! Who would like to follow a homeless itinerant preacher? And when He was arrested for crime He was innocent of, majority of the people wanted Him crucified. Now, is there any semblance in today’s current events?

5. Jesus is definitely not a world-famous celebrity. Neither is He a billionaire politician whom we can idolize. Yet We follow Him because He is our Lord who saved us from eternal damnation by His death and resurrection. We follow Him because He is the way, the truth and the life.

6. The call of Jesus to follow Him is not without cost. A lot has to be sacrificed – family, loved ones, and career. In fact, He calls us to deny ourselves (Matthew 16:24). Moreover, He wants us to decide once and for all to set our focus on Him without turning back and without second thoughts.

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