Caller ID is great! You can screen the calls coming to the phone. If you don’t want to answer or you don’t recognize the caller, you can choose to not answer the phone. Sometimes important calls may be left unanswered, but with an answering machine or service, an important caller should leave a message.
We focus on the twelve Apostles. They answered the call. What about those who rejected the call?
In Mark 10:17-31, Jesus talks to a rich man. In Matthew 19, he is said to be young. In Luke 18, he is said to be a ruler. Thus, this story is often referred to as the story of the Rich Young Ruler. Jesus asks him to sell everything and follow Him. The rich young ruler, bows his head and walks away.
In Luke 9:57-58, someone says that he wants to follow Jesus. Jesus replies that he has no place to lay His head. We assume the man rejected the idea, for we never hear another word.
In Luke 9:59-60, Jesus asks another to follow Him. The man says that he has to bury his father first. Jesus replies, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” We don’t hear another word of this man either.
In Luke 9:61-62, another says that he/she wants to follow Jesus, but they have to say good-bye to their family. Jesus speaks of a farmer who looks back while plowing. If you’ve ever plowed a field, you always look forward at a single point. In doing so, the plowed furrow will be straight. If you looked around, everything would be crooked. Jesus compares this to working for the kingdom of God, if you look back, you are not fit for the work.
One question: Do we know the names of these four people?
Nope. We don’t even know if the fourth person is male or female, unless when Luke says ‘another’, he infers the male. The first two in Luke 9 are identified as male, but we’ll never know for sure.
Do we know the names Peter, Andrew, James and John? Of course, they dropped their nets immediately and followed Jesus.
Why do we not know the names of these other four people? Does it matter?
We are left with the thought that all four rejected Jesus’ requirements for following Him. We know that at the time that Jesus told the rich young ruler to sell everything, the rich young ruler went away sad. It never says that he followed through with Jesus’ demands at a later date.
Will we get another invitation? In Luke 12:20, Jesus says, “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you.’”
If caller ID says that the call is from Jesus, pick up the phone and answer. He might think that when you let it go to voicemail, you have rejected Him.
I think I’m going to stay with this topic. To be continued…