Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
- Luke 9:62
In Luke chapter 9, Jesus explains the cost of following Him. While there were people that wanted to follow Him, they put a conditional clause, where the individuals wanted to bury their family member or to say goodbye before following Jesus. Jesus's reply seemed almost heartless, informing the person to let the dead bury themselves and to urge people to follow Him. But let's dive deeper to find out what it really means.
I recall in a small group bible study once that it was explained to me that burying one's family is not a quick affair in those times and that in the context of the passage, the individual may have been using this as an excuse to procrastinate. There is even some speculation that the father had not died yet, and that the individual was meaning to stay with his father until such time that he passed away. Whether it be for sentimental and loving reasons, for tradition, or for inheritance, the process was still going to be long. To be clear, the bible's stance is clear on honouring one's parents and loving family. However, God is also clear to loving, obeying, and putting Him first. For the most part in our lives, yes, if there has to be a choice then God is asking us to choose Him, but for most of the decisions in our lives, following God is not exclusive to loving one's family or honouring one's parents. In most circumstances, we can do both. God, however, should always come first.
The passage explains that the concept is that when we want progress in our faith, we cannot be constantly looking at the way we live in the past and the ties we had. We must not procrastinate, and we must plow forward. I remember watching an episode of the Amazing Race, a game show where contestants race around the world and complete tasks to compete for a prize. Once the contestants were challenged to plow a muddy field and the task was shown to be extremely difficult, especially if the individual plowing is not steering straight ahead. In order to make progress and yield results, we have to plow forward in following Jesus, without looking back or being swayed off our path. When we choose God, we must choose with commitment and we act on this right now, without delay.
Reflection: How has your journey been following Jesus? Are you fully committing or finding reasons to delay?
Take time to meditate on the word of God, and study with us this week in our study, Plow Ahead. Enjoy this week's reading along with worship music from Christian Calm Radio.