Luke 9:59-62 (ESV)
59 To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 60 And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” 61 Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” 62 Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
John Hart is one of the 56 men who signed the United States’ Declaration of Independence. There were many who tried to stop him from signing this historic document. At one point, John had to make a choice between supporting his patriotic beliefs or being by the side of his dying wife and their 13 children. He forsook his family and put his signature on the document.
While his love for his nation is an admirable thing, it’s doubtful that everyone would forsake their family the way he did.
Yet, if we ever have to make a choice between following our family or following Jesus, Jesus clearly expects that we will follow him. In Jesus’ eyes, not even saying goodbye to a father was sufficient cause to delay in following Jesus.
Why? Because he knows that our families cannot save us from hell. Our families cannot pay our debt to God. Our parents cannot earn forgiveness for our sins.
But Jesus did. Jesus, in fact, is the one who keeps our families together even beyond death. His sacrificial death assures us that, though death on earth might temporarily separate us, we will be reunited with our fellow believers in heaven where we will be together forever.
Use your time with family and friends to celebrate this great gift given to us by Jesus. Gather around his Word and encourage one another with his promises so that heartfelt devotion to the Jesus who saves might be the one thing your entire family has in common.
Dear Lord, You loved us with Your whole heart. Help us to each day offer our entire life in heartfelt devotion to You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.