“…….another also said, `I will follow thee, sir, but first permit me to take leave of those in my house;'
and Jesus said unto him, `No one having put his hand on a plough, and looking back, is fit for the reign of God.’’’ Luke 9:61-62 YLT
Again, Jesus is faced with the problem of the convenient disciple. Notice the man said, “Permit me..…” He was trying to make a bargain with Jesus. We are only to do what Jesus says and not tell Him what we want to do.
Jesus challenges the distracted disciple to stay focused and to be committed. The farmer who needs to drive the oxen to plow the field must look to an object on the other side of the field and keep looking at it. If he turns his eyes to the side, then the plow line will follow that same direction. Following Jesus is a long term commitment. We must notice our tendencies to get distracted and determine in our hearts to follow Jesus.
This man’s conduct stands here as a warning to all to whom God has given the privilege of preaching the gospel.
I am certain this man, like the one before him and those following in chapter 10 was a man sent out by Jesus to preach the gospel. The lesson taught in these two verses is to be applied in its strictest sense to all who are sent of God to do His work. The lesson is clear. – We cannot serve God with divided hearts!
This man appears to have had a divided heart. He wanted both the ease and joy of other men and the nobility of preaching the gospel.
He seems to have looked upon the work of the ministry as a sacrifice rather than a privilege.
Be warned! Jesus will not share His throne with anyone, not even with our dearest relatives. He requires our hearts. He must be first!
“My son, give me your heart and let your eyes observe and delight in my ways….” Prov. 23:26 AMP
When we read the accounts of Jesus’ life in the gospels we find Him giving this command on many occasions: Follow Me! You might remember Him calling Peter and Andrew, James and John by saying “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matt 4:19).
When the rich young ruler asked what he still lacked in order that he might inherit eternal life, Jesus answered him by saying “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me” (Mark 10:21).
Matthew, Mark and Luke all record Jesus’ general command to His disciples: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”
When is the last time you had to make a really difficult choice in your life, in order to follow Christ faithfully?