Saying goodbye is hard—to family and friends, to a favorite and familiar place, to an occupation or livelihood.
In Luke 9:57-62 our Lord describes the cost of being His disciple. A would-be follower says to Jesus, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.” Jesus responds, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God” (vv. 61-62). Is He asking His followers to say goodbye to everything and every relationship considered precious?
In the Chinese language there is no direct equivalent of the English word goodbye. The two Chinese characters used to translate this word really mean “see you again.” Becoming a disciple of Christ may sometimes mean others will reject us, but it does not mean we say goodbye to people in the sense that we are to forget all our past relationships. Saying goodbye means that God wants us to follow Him on His terms—wholeheartedly. Then we will see people again from the right perspective.
God wants the best for us, but we must allow Him to take priority over everything else.
Dear Lord, I want to follow You wholeheartedly. Help me not to place anything or anyone before You.
When we follow Jesus we get a new perspective.
Luke’s account of Christ’s earthly life and ministry has several key features that distinguish it from the other three gospel records (Matthew, Mark, John). First, it contains the longest and most detailed narrative of Jesus’s birth—including the announcement of Mary’s pregnancy (Luke 1–2). Second, Luke’s account has a significant focus on Jesus’s interactions with women (see Luke 8:1–3). Third, Luke places more emphasis on Jesus’s parables than the other gospels—it contains eighteen unique parables, including the Good Samaritan (10:25–37) and the Prodigal Son (15:11–32). If, as many scholars believe, Luke’s record was primarily written to a Greek audience, their focus on learning would certainly account for that emphasis. Finally, since Luke was a physician, we find interesting medical details that the other gospels don’t include (see 9:29; 10:34; 22:44).