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Moving Forward

Briefing: There is an officer in the agency where I work who had prior police experience in another police agency. He has been with our agency for over ten years but is always saying how things were so much better at the last place he worked. He can’t move forward because he spends all of his time looking backwards.

Dispatch (Assignment): Are you prepared and committed? You have to be both to fully follow Christ. Read Matthew 8:18-22 and Luke 9:57-62.

On the Street: Crowds followed Jesus wherever He went. He was a very popular figure. It seems that everyone wanted a piece of Him.

Jesus did not always seem to enjoy being the center of attention. We see in other passages that Jesus would often find quiet places to go pray. As I read the first verse of this passage, I couldn’t help but think that He needed some prayer time at this moment. The crowd persisted. They wanted to go where He was going. They were coming up to Him and pledging their willingness to follow Him.

Jesus told the first man, a teacher of the law, that this is not some lavish tour they are going on. Jesus is trusting God the Father to provide for their entire journey. They are not calling ahead and getting reservations to the top inn in town. If you want to see how Jesus travels, jump forward to Matthew 10:5-20. Jesus was asking the prospective followers if they were prepared.

The same account is found in Luke 9:57-60, but Luke goes further. In this account, we see Jesus also asking if they are committed. In 9:62 Jesus said, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God”. Try this sometime at home with a rake in the sand or dirt: walk in a straight path pushing your rake, then look back. When you return to looking forward, you will see that your straight path has gone off course. Are you willing to go the distance? If you are, you will have to leave your junk behind.

Highlights from this Read: In verse nineteen, the teacher of the law was too eager and did not consider the cost. In verse twenty-one, we see the disciple who asks to first go bury his father is reminiscent of Luke 14:15-24. This is where people are invited to the banquet but when the time comes for the feast, they all come up with excuses as to why they could not come.

Investigational Resources: Luke 9:57-60 and 14:25-27.

Officer Safety Principle: Are you prepared and are you committed?

from The Gospel of Matthew Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
Click here to check out the entire Through the Eyes of a Cop series!