The "Go" of Renunciation


Once the call of God comes to you, start going and never stop.

As they were going along the road, someone 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.” And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” —Luke 9:57-61.

Our Lord’s attitude toward this man was one of severe discouragement, “for he himself knew what was in man” (John 2:25). We would have said, “I can’t imagine why He lost the opportunity of winning that man! Imagine being so cold to him and turning him away so discouraged!

Never apologize for your Lord. The words of the Lord hurt and offend until there is nothing left to be hurt or offended. Jesus had no tenderness whatever toward anything that was ultimately going to ruin a person in His service to God.

Our Lord’s answers were not based on some whim or impulsive thought, but on the knowledge of “what was in man.” If the Spirit of God brings to your mind a word of the Lord that hurts you, you can be sure there is something in you that He wants to hurt to the point of death.

Luke 9:58: These words destroy the argument of serving Jesus because it’s a pleasant thing to do. And the strictness of the rejection that He demands of me allows for nothing to remain in my life but my Lord, myself, and a sense of desperate hope. He says that I must let everyone else come or go, and that I must be guided solely by my relationship to Him. And He says, “. . . the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”

Luke 9:59: This man did not want to disappoint Jesus, nor did he want to show a lack of respect for his father. We put our sense of loyalty to our relatives ahead of our loyalty to Jesus, forcing Him to take last place. When your loyalties conflict, always obey Jesus, whatever the cost.

Luke 9:61. The person who says, “I will follow You Lord, but . . .” is the person who is intensely ready to go, but never goes. This man had reservations about going. The exacting call of Jesus has no room for goodbyes; goodbyes, as we often use them, are pagan, not Christian, because they divert us from the call.

Once the call of God comes to you, start going and never stop.


  • Have I ever wanted to apologize for what the Lord said in His Word?
  • Why was I so uncomfortable?


Father, I want to be willing to lay down my life for You, but I sometimes don’t understand Your ways. I’m afraid that at times I have been ashamed of what You have said in Your Word. Please forgive me for feeling that way, Lord, and give me Your boldness to live and serve they way Your Son, my Savior, did. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


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