Pastor James J. Barker

Text: LUKE 9:57-62


  1. Unfortunately many conversions are shallow and superficial.
  2. Here in our text we see three men.  They all appear to be sincere, and all three express an interest in following Jesus.
  3. The key word here is "follow" (9:57, 59, 61).  All three men started out to follow Jesus.
  4. We often sing:
             Follow! follow! I would follow Jesus!
             Anywhere, everywhere, I would follow on!
             Follow! follow! I would follow Jesus!
             Everywhere He leads me I would follow on!
  5. You can sing that, but do you really mean it?
  6. Everywhere He leads me I would follow on!
  7. Here in our text, we see these men were not really willing to follow our Lord.  This is clear from our Lord's statements.
  8. The Bible says in John 2:23-25, that when our Lord "was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.  But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man."
  9. "But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men... he knew what was in man" (John 2:24, 25).
  10. So when these three men told Jesus they wanted to follow Him, He "did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man."
  11. My message this morning is entitled, "Do You Really Want to Follow Jesus?"
  12. As we look at this passage of Scripture, I would like for us to consider what hinders people from following Jesus.
  13. Our Lord said in Luke 9:59, "Follow me."  Jesus often called people to follow Him.
  14. He said in Matthew 4:19, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."
  15. In Matthew 9:9, our Lord called Matthew to follow Him.
  16. He called the rich young ruler to follow Him.
  17. He called Philip to follow Him. He called Peter to follow Him.
  18. And of course, He is calling you and me to follow Him.
  19. We often sing:

              Where He leads me I will follow;
              I’ll go with Him, with Him, all the way.

  20. But do we really mean it?



  1. This "certain man" (called "a certain scribe" in Matthew 8:19) appears to be rather hasty.  Perhaps a bit rash.
  2. Evidently he had this notion that following Jesus was going to be a smooth road of comfort and ease, with no problems, and no trials and no troubles, etc.
  3. Unfortunately this false conception of Christianity is very popular today.
  4. Kenneth Copeland is a television preacher, known for teaching the so-called “prosperity gospel."  He wrote a book entitled, The Laws of Prosperity, and in this book he says, "You must realize that it is God's will for you to prosper."
  5. But that is not what our Lord said to this certain man in Luke 9:58.
  6. It is not what our Lord said about the apostle Paul.  Right after Paul was saved on the road to Damascus, the Lord said, "For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake" (Acts 9:16).
  7. Paul himself wrote in I Corinthians 4:11, "Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place."
  8. The so-called "prosperity gospel" message that is being preached by Copeland and Benny Hinn and Freddy Price and Joyce Meyers and Creflo Dollar and Joel Osteen is contrary to Scripture.
  9. Many Bible preachers and teachers have examined these prosperity teachings and have discovered that it is not only unscriptural, but it is also cultic (Christian Science, New Thought, Gnosticism).
  10. This "certain man" expected a great temporal reward, but our Lord said to him, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head" (9:58).
  11. "The Son of man hath not where to lay his head" (9:58), but these religious racketeers own huge million dollar mansions and a fleet of airplanes, including private jets.
  12. Kenneth Copeland owns an eight thousand square foot home valued at $6.3 million.  But our Lord said to this certain man, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head" (9:58; cf. 9:23).
  13. Another so-called "prosperity preacher" is Rod Parsley.  I read this article the other day:

    "Tim Tebow Cancels Speech at Event Organized by Prosperity Gospel Preacher" (From The Gospel Coalition).

    Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow is canceling an at a revival organized by prosperity gospel preacher Rod Parsley.

    The year's most talked about Christian athlete was scheduled to speak at a three-day Columbus event in March led by televangelist Parsley. In a phone interview with the Associated Press, Tebow's brother Robbie said his brother's speakers' bureau hadn't researched the event before saying yes to the invitation.

    "I know for a fact that Tim is not going to be a part of it," Robbie Tebow said. "That's being resolved."

    Parsley pastors World Harvest Church in Columbus, Ohio, and heads up World Harvest Ministerial Alliance (WHMA). His church services and personal appearances are telecasted over TBN-TV and Daystar-TV in a program called Breakthrough. Along with his confusion about doctrines like the Trinity ("The Holy Ghost is no different than Jesus and Jesus is no different than the Holy Ghost. . ."), Parsley teaches that God wants believers to be wealthy. As the AP notes, last year Parsley asked followers to donate more than $1 million to ward off satanic attacks.

    The young quarterback understands that by speaking at the event he would be lending his credibility to men who preach a false gospel. By refusing to speak at the event, he may be able to signal to people unfamiliar with the prosperity gospel that those who believe in the true gospel should avoid publicly associating with these false teachers.

  14. Thank God, Tim Tebow apparently has some Biblical convictions and discernment!
  15. Regarding our Lord's words in Luke 9:58, one preacher put it this way, "Privation, not promotion, was all that Jesus offered.  He was on His way to crucifixion not coronation" (John Phillips, Exploring the Gospel of Luke).



  1. To the second man, Jesus said, "Follow me."
  2. "But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father" (9:59).
  3. When our Lord gives a command, we must obey immediately.
  4. Matthew Henry said, "We are tempted to think that our duty to our relations will excuse us from our duty to Christ."
  5. It is not clear whether or not this man's father was dead or was still alive.  I am inclined to believe the father was still alive, and the man was saying in affect, "Let me wait till my father passes away.  Then after I bury him, I can follow you."
  6. To this, our Lord said, "Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God" (9:60).
  7. The great preacher G. Campbell Morgan told an interesting story to illustrate this.  "I had the privilege of traveling back across the Atlantic with Sir George Adam Smith. He told me, once when he was in Palestine, he wanted to get off the beaten track, into an unfamiliar area, and he wanted a guide. He had a young friend, an Arab sheik, and he tried to persuade him to go on the journey to guide him; but he refused. As he was talking to him, the sheik's father was sitting in the door of the tent, hale and hearty, but venerable; and the young Arab said, 'Sir, suffer me first to go and bury my father.' His father was not dead, but he was expressing devotion to his father, saying, that he could not possibly go away as long as his father was alive. That is what this young man said to Jesus.  He meant, 'I want to come, I would like to come, but I have home ties and responsibilities that hold me.  I cannot come while my father is living.  I will have to stay until he has passed over, and then I will make the great adventure.'  Quick, sharp, definite, the Lord's word, ringing across the centuries, 'Leave the dead to bury their own dead; but go thou and preach the kingdom of God'" (The Gospel According to Luke).
  8. Sticking around to bury his father would meant an indefinite delay, and the urgency of the Gospel call cannot be put off.
  9. Our Lord was not suggesting that this man dishonor his father (9:59). That would contradict the fifth commandment -- "Honour thy father and thy mother" (Exodus 20:12).
  10. In Luke 18:20, our Lord said to the rich young ruler, "Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother."
  11. To this, the rich young ruler said, "All these have I kept from my youth up" (Luke 18:21).
  12. "Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me" (Luke 18:22).
  13. "Yet lackest thou one thing..." Wealth and worldly treasures were keeping this rich young ruler from following Christ.
  14. Here in Luke 9:59, it was family ties. Our Lord was not suggesting that this man dishonor his father (9:59), but that we should not allow family ties to interfere with following Jesus.
  15. We should love the Lord Jesus Christ so much that our love for our family looks like hatred in comparison (cf. Luke 14:26).
  16. J. Vernon McGee said that when a conflict arises between human affections and Christ, Christ claims the first place.
  17. This passage is dealing with discipleship (cf. 14:26, 27, 33).  When it comes to discipleship, family ties must yield to God's will.
  18. One of my professors at Bible college said, "Duties never conflict, but some times they overlap."



  1. We often have to deal with these kind of hesitators and compromisers.   Our Lord said that once a man puts his hand to the plough, he cannot look back (9:62).
  2. No man can plough a straight furrow if he is turning his head to look back.
  3. Lot's wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:26).  In Luke 17:32, our Lord said, "Remember Lot's wife."
  4. By turning back, Lot's wife demonstrated that her heart was still in Sodom.   And many professing Christians today are the same way.
  5. They cannot move forward because they keep turning back.
  6. People tell me, "I wanted to come to church but my relatives dropped by my house, etc."
  7. This man said, "Lord, I will follow thee; but..." (9:61).
  8. There can be "no if, ands or buts."  "Lord, I will follow thee; but..."
  9. What is the "but" that is hindering you from following Jesus?
  10. What is the "but" that is hindering you from getting saved?
  11. What is the "but" that is hindering you from getting baptized?
  12. What is the "but" that is hindering you from serving the Lord?
  13. What is the "but" that is hindering you from full surrender? (cf. 9:23).
  14. H.A. Ironside said this man "had to learn that the claims of Christ were paramount to every other" (Luke).



  1. Jesus said, "I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last" (Rev. 1:11).
  2. He is the first and the last, and everything in between!
  3. Stephen Olford preached a message from this text and said, "Are we willing to agree to the demands of discipleship: No refusal, no rival, no retreat.  I am ready Lord, cost what it will!"

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