Have you ever made an excuse for something like why you were late for an appointment, why you didn’t have your homework, or why something wasn’t your fault? We tend to make excuses for many things, many times. Making excuses is not new. People even made excuses in Bible days. In Luke 9: 57-62, Jesus deals with some men who make excuses for why they couldn’t follow Him.
One day, Jesus was walking along the road with a group of people. Jesus turned to one of the men and said to him, “Follow me.” The man answered, “First let me go and bury my father.” That sounds like a good excuse, but we don’t even know if the man’s father was dead yet. He may have wanted to wait until his father died before he began to follow Jesus. Jesus answered him, “Let the dead bury their own dead. You go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
Jesus then turned to another man in the crowd and said, “Follow me.” This man answered, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me go back home and say goodbye to my father.” Jesus did not like this man’s excuse either. He said to him, “No man who starts to plow and then looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Jesus was calling those who would give up everything — family, friends, their job — and follow Him. What Jesus got instead was excuses. In fact, Jesus said, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.” Jesus meant it would be hard to follow Him, so you could not have any excuses and be willing to live a different kind of life that would not be easy.
Jesus is still calling today, “Follow me!” Will you follow, or will you make excuses? Sometimes following Jesus may seem hard for us, but the reward is well worth our efforts.
Let’s say a prayer together. Dear Jesus, when You call us, may we never offer excuses. Instead, may we be willing to give up everything and follow You. Please help us to make that good decision. Amen.
Ann Moody is a retired pastor, formerly of the Wilkesville First Presbyterian Church and the Middleport First Presbyterian Church. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author.