Luke 9:61-62 (NIV) 61Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family.” 62Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
To follow, to be a disciple of Jesus, is the highest calling anyone can have. In the passage for this evening, a man asked to become one of Jesus’ followers, “but first…”. Once the realization has come to us that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God, there can be no “but first”. It is comparable to saying, “I know that You are my Creator to Whom I owe my very being, but there is a portion of my life that I wish to remain lord over.” “I will make you a close second to my parents”, or whatever is of primary importance to you.
There can be all kinds of affairs in a marriage. We usually interpret it as unfaithfulness with the opposite sex, but a woman can have an affair with money, with her children, or with her parents. The more common affairs with men are their work, position, possessions, or vacations. The man in the text above wanted to become a part of the bride of Christ, but wanted to keep his love for his parents first. Is it possible that you are being unfaithful to Jesus? Imagine how that breaks His heart.
The plowman had to keep his eyes fixed far ahead in order to keep the row straight. If he looked back, the oxen would pull in whatever direction was easiest, and the row would end up a curve. In our life in Christ, we dare not look back on the things that were once first in our lives. The old loves must stay in our past to plow straight. Service in the kingdom of God demands a forward view into eternity.
Consider: Keep your eyes on the goal. The glorious future ahead is incomparably greater than anything we valued in the past.