As a parent these words have been heard more often than not when an older sibling gets to go do something but the younger only hears the ‘no.’ Do we think that it is just a parent that has to say ‘no’?
Backing up in Luke 8 we find the threefold description of the heart which has fallen on the fertile soil. According to vs 15 it hears the word, clings to the word, and bears fruit. Again in vs 21 Jesus repeats himself; the faithful ones are those who hear the word of God and do it. And to help the disciples see this in living color he takes them away from Jewish territory into Gentile territory where after a rough night on the sea they drift idly onto the shore only to be met with a demoniac. How does that square with his teaching about heart soils and family?
When all is said and done, the demoniac is healed and the town is left flabbergasted. What is left but to follow Jesus right? Instead, as a ‘parent’ Jesus says ‘no.’ Translated; do not follow me. I have greater work for you and it is to go and proclaim what God has done for you. The healed demoniac heard the word of God and now has to cling to it and bear fruit. The same mandate is for us: go and proclaim what God has done in your life.