While we have seen that the disciples were imperfect people, these verses show us that not just anyone will be willing to pay the true cost of following Jesus. The first man sounds like he’ll be loyal, but Jesus says that the road will not be full of material comforts, or even that there will be deprivation because of following Him. The second man asks to fulfill a familial responsibility, but Jesus says it’s not as important as proclaiming the kingdom of God, which would be extremely shocking in that culture. The third only asks to go say farewell to his family, but Jesus…does not actually say that he can’t. What He does say is that he can’t be concerned and worried for those he left behind when there is important work in front of him.
The common thread in these three situations is that God wants complete devotion from us. We can’t be partially concerned with His will and His kingdom and partially concerned with ourselves. We can’t even be concerned for our own family except as that concern is subordinate to advancing God’s kingdom. (And we should definitely be trying to build God’s kingdom within our own families. God promises to take care of our needs, both material and spiritual, temporal and eternal. This frees us up to do the work that He has prepared for us to do.
Give us eternal perspectives, O Lord, so that our priorities line up with Yours.