Many believe the little word, “BUT” should be an acronym for “behold underlying truth.” There is a lot of truth after every “BUT” and it’s a perfect setup for making excuses. A good example of this is in Luke 9:57-62 where Jesus encountered three men who wanted to follow him BUT only on their own terms.
The first man didn’t actually use the word “BUT” and we see by Jesus’ response that he had the wrong idea about what it meant to follow Jesus. The underlying truth in the matter was he would follow Jesus if it meant a life of ease, BUT, if not, he wouldn’t. Jesus knew this and told him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”
The second man said he would follow Jesus and he used the word “BUT.” He said first he needed to bury his father. Some might think that Jesus’ response was harsh and unloving, however the man was just making excuses. Possibly he was saying that his father was old and when he died and his estate settled, then he would have time for Jesus. It was just another failed attempt to justify his lack of commitment. The underlying truth was after the “BUT.”
The third man on the road told Jesus he would follow him, “BUT” first he needed to say goodbye to his family. Once again the response might be perceived as harsh. Jesus was not saying that you shouldn’t say goodbye to your family. Jesus could see that this man would easily become distracted from his work as a disciple by looking back at what he believed he was giving up rather than what he was gaining. So he said, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)
In this passage are three men who realized they needed to follow Jesus BUT they were not committed. They offered excuses and Jesus rejected their weak interest.
Jesus calls us to unconditional commitment – no reservations, no hesitation, no excuses. Jesus wants us to know that discipleship is costly. It means making sacrifices and it means being totally committed.
Jesus is offering a life of great joy and unending love. And he wants to see if we’re serious about this kind of relationship with him. When we say we are, “BUT” …then we’re not ready.
BUT that could cost us our soul and there’s a lot of truth after that “BUT.”
The question I must ask is… “Am I totally committed to God or am I full of excuses?”