Luke 9:61,62 – Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-bye to my family.” Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
We have here another willing follower of Jesus… with a big BUT! He’s willing to follow Christ, BUT first he wants to go back and say good-by to his family. This man is putting off his startup time, but seems to have a valid excuse. However, Jesus can see what we cannot see and His reply to this man reveals that insight. Willing volunteers for service are such a welcome blessing – except when they’re DOUBLE-MINDED! Our Lord sees a flaw in this man’s character, a flaw that dwells within many of us – DOUBLE-MINDEDNESS! And so, He says to this man, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” This man wants to follow Jesus BUT, he also wants to hang out with his “peeps,” with the those who have become the dearest relationships and people in his life!
Is it possible that we could have relationships that can interfere with following Christ and serving in His kingdom? Is it possible that even FAMILY members could get in the way of following Christ Jesus supremely? Apparently so! Fitness for Christ’s service requires SINGLE-MINDED DEVOTION and commitment! Anything less is not worthy of Him or His kingdom! Any calling, vocation or work, worth its salt, deserves our full attention, commitment and due diligence! If you are called to be a surgeon, your patients want you to make sure that you are SINGLE-MINDED, fully attentive and committed to their well-being. If not, you are not fit for this line of service! Jesus illustrated this point with the farmer who takes up the plow. If he starts plowing the field without being focused, attentive and single-minded to his work, his field will be a disgrace to farming! Likewise, those who say, “I have decided to follow Jesus,” if they are not SINGLE-MINDED in their devotion to Christ and in their service to His kingdom, then our Lord says, they are NOT FIT FOR SERVICE IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD!
Is not Christ Jesus worthy of our very best devotion, allegiance and service? Did He not GIVE US HIS VERY BEST? He obviously thought WE were worthy of it! Does the kingdom of God deserve any less than our best – less than we give to our secular employers? Is not Christ worthy of greater loyalty, love and energy than we might pour into our family, our friends, our employment, our hobbies or recreation? Our fitness for serving in His kingdom hinges upon how we might answer these questions! How many volunteers can I get to join with me in saying, “I want to be FIT for service in God’s kingdom?” “I desire to be SINGLE-MINDED in following Christ in ways that reflect His worthiness!”
I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit– just as you were called to one hope when you were called– one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:1-6 )
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And wepray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:9-14)