As they were going along the road, a man 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, let me first go and bury my father.” But he said to him, “Leave the dead to 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 his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:57-62)
Hold on just a minute, I need to finish this Tweet before I continue…
Okay, now, I’m ready to write. What was the topic again?
Oh yes, that gospel passage about burying the dead and hands on plows, now I remember.
It’s easy to let our smart phones distract and control us. The entire world is in our pocket. We can instantly communicate with someone on the other side of the world in seconds. When news breaks, it’s right there in our hand. We can play video games, watch television and movies, read a book, listen to music (I can download that new album I wanted in seconds!), and buy tickets to a concert. We can even work from it (bleh). And, if we are not too distracted by all of the other cool things on our phone, we can use it to pray.
And yet, we recoil at Jesus’ words to this potential follower. Let the dead bury the dead, follow me now.
It’s pretty understandable that we would have this reaction to Jesus given that burying the dead is one of the corporal works of mercy. We should drop what we are doing and bury those we love. They deserve nothing less of course.
So I have some sympathy with this potential disciple. But Jesus says there is no time to wait – the kingdom is among you, now. It’s time to move, drop everything because this is urgent. No “but firsts….” No time to check our Facebook page or Twitter. The Snapchat can wait.
We are a distracted people, but the kingdom demands focus. Are we willing to shed the things that bind us?