I live in permanent gratitude for a message I heard as a little girl in church years ago. By Bible verses and large vivid drawings, it was illustrated what happens when farmers plowing a field keep their eyes to the front: straight, even rows are the result. However, if while plowing, they turn to look back over parts already plowed, wobbly, uneven rows occur in front. I can still see today in my mind both the illustrative drawings.
Luke 9:62 – Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God." (NIV)
Quick, sharp as a knife, decisive, and unmistakable: this is Jesus' response to the one who had said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-bye to my family." (Luke 9:61 NIV)
In Jesus' ministry here on earth, He detached Himself from all that would have hindered the progress of His God-given mission. Not even the highest earthly love or obligation held Him back from complete obedience to God's will. Jesus determined to "go" for His Father and to be about His business.
In the same way, Jesus wants us to follow Him, to work for Him — and with Him — and to serve the kingdom.
Faithfulness! Single-minded faithfulness allowed nothing to obstruct any of His ministry or mission. Our Lord Christ finally went to the cross and died once, and for all of us, thus yet again proving Himself to be a perfect example of obedience and faithfulness for us to follow.
In today's Scripture, Jesus is not telling us, His followers, to do or be anything He didn't live Himself. He is always the perfect example on which to model ourselves if we want to please and to show our love and loyalty to God our Father, Jesus our Christ, and God our Holy Spirit.
Can we, in truth, sing the words of this chorus?
- I have decided to follow Jesus…
Though none go with me, still I will follow,
No turning back, no turning back!
Our Lord Jesus set His face forward. He never hesitated. He never looked back. He faced every kind of hostility from humanity. He faced the doom unto death. He faced all the travail and won all that makes the kingdom of God available to us. Hallelujah! Glorious, victorious Christ Jesus!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for our Lord Jesus. Thank You for His many examples recorded in Scripture which help us to keep facing forward, with our eyes on You and Your purposes and mission for our lives. Thank You that our lives are the most blessed, happy, and fruitful when we plow straight rows, following Your directions. Amen and Amen!