A team of army officers were interviewing a few candidates for recruitment. One was well qualified, physically fit and had all skills. Pleased with his performance, they asked if the candidate had any questions. The young man asked: “What would be my monthly salary?” One officer answered that. “Am I entitled to any perks?” Another officer explained about no taxes, medical benefits and tax-free food items…etc. “Will I get a bonus?” Then the young man continued, “What will be my pension?” The senior army officer stood up and yelled. “Get lost. Here we are recruiting people to die for the nation, and not to give a comfortable luxurious life. Come to die and not to live.”
Lord Jesus recruits disciples and rejects those who did not measure up. “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24) Three such were rejected as their priorities were not right.
1. Priority of comfort: Lord Jesus could look through the intentions of people. This man was looking for a life of comfort – a religious leader, respected in society and experiencing comfortable life. Following the Lord means to lead a simple life, face risks and even deny basic comforts. “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” (Luke 9:58)
2. Priority of family inheritance: Another person wanted his father who was old to die, so that he could get his family inheritance. He was not willing to leave all to follow Him. He wanted a security net. Lord challenged him to allow the dead to bury the dead while he followed Him. (Luke 9:60) Let the spiritually dead bury the physically dead. Worldly inheritance will be buried in the hubris of this world.
3. Priority of network – social and economic: Another man wanted to bid formal farewell, so that he could retain his connections for the future. Following the Lord is to burn bridges or kick off the ladder, no turning back. (Luke 9:61-62)
Is the Kingdom of God my priority?