Wholehearted obedience

Daily Reading for June 27 • The Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “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.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” But Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:57-62)

The man said, “Allow me first to go and bury my father.” The Lord replied, “Let the dead bury their dead; but go and preach the kingdom of God.” Another man said, “Let me first arrange my affairs at home.” He rebuked him with a stern threat, saying, “No man, putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

A person who wishes to become the Lord’s disciple must repudiate a human obligation, however honorable it may appear, if it slows us ever so slightly in giving the wholehearted obedience we owe to God.

From Concerning Baptism by Basil the Great, quoted in Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: New Testament III, Luke, edited by Arthur A. Just, Jr. (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2003).

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