Well, if we were hoping for a comforting word from Jesus this morning, it seems that we have come to the wrong place. The gospel reading this morning provides us with little comfort in the words that Jesus gives to those that either volunteer or are asked to follow Jesus along the way. Each of them seems to give Jesus a fairly reasonable response to his call only to get some rather discomforting words back from Jesus as he sets his face towards Jerusalem.
When we get readings like this, it is tempting to twist things up enough until we are able to be a little bit more comfortable from the reading of the text. It is tempting to try to read it as simply a call story versus a challenge to us in the contemporary era. It is tempting to take the text and to make it say something other than what it says. It is tempting for us to hunger for the nice, warm, smiling Jesus instead of the Jesus that challenges us to go further in our acceptance of Christ’s call on our own lives.
The three different sayings that we get at the end of the gospel lesson today are all meant to draw out what it is going to mean to be a follower of Jesus in different ways. Each saying is meant to convey some aspect of truth about being a disciple of Jesus, and each saying holds a unique challenge within it as we seek to live out a life of discipleship that is in keeping with Jesus’ life and ministry. Continue reading