THE ONE THAT LOOKS BACK IS NOT FIT FOR THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
57As they were going along the road, someone said to him,
“I will follow you wherever you go.”
58And Jesus said to him,
“Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
59To another he said,
But he said,
“Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”
60And Jesus said to him,
“Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
61Yet another said,
“I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.”
62Jesus said to him,
“No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Here the text mentions three types of people who react differently when confronted with Jesus.
The first type is willing to follow the Lord, but in their harry, do not measure the cost of their decision (Luke 9:57, compare with Luke 14:28-29); but our Lord warns them before hand of the difficulties of following Him.
The second type, do not consider to follow Jesus, but when they are directly invited to follow Him, their primary concern is not the Call of God, but their earthly concerns before obeying God.
Finally, the third type is the one that takes the decision to follow Jesus, but gives priority before hand to the things of this world, instead of trusting God from the beginning.
This contains three lessons:
To all of them, the invitation to follow Christ is extended. None of them is told not to follow Him. Jesus never denies Himself to anyone who comes to Him, and even, He extends the invitation to the ones who did not plan to follow Him in the first place, the second type of humans, which let us know that GOD wants every human to be saved, and not only a pre-elected group, while others are not called and left behind by an assumed God’s pre-born rejection.
Another lesson is that to be Christian is to ‘follow’ the life of Jesus and his will. It is not only a mental or theoretical, or theological belief, but a practical belief, that it is demonstrated and traduced in an active life of obedience to Jesus. A literal following. True Christianity is a practical faith, and never an only theoretical one. That is why ‘Faith without works is dead” (James 2:16).
Finally, the third lesson is the hard warning Lord JESUS tells the last man, but in reality, is for all of us.
Whoever takes the decision to follow Jesus, must surrender his life totally to Jesus’s care and rule; so much, that those who ‘look back’ with longing towards their old life or the world, are considered not ‘fit’, meaning, ready, to reside in God’s Kingdom, and not even to serve God on earth, since their mind and heart would be on their own human interests and not God’s.
This is a serious warning, because Satan will try to create this longing of a comfortable and prosperous life for all Christians, had they not decided to follow Jesus.
The Christian path becomes difficult when we try to live in the righteousness of Christ, the reality of a corrupt world around us, where the one who adapts to its crooked ways has it easier than those who stick to the right behavior.
As Jesus warned the first type of men, the Christian life can get hard, but it is the only way to salvation, and in their desire to rob salvation from us, Satan will attach and distract us in a zillion ways; however, there is only one thing we must do. May our lives be hard or easy, we must remain fixed on Christ’s face.
If we trust our Lord in everything and struggle to continue on the path, God knows that and will not let us fall (James 4:7).
But even, if we ever fall, once and again, we must not despair, but we must get up, and take the plow again.
Only those who look back and never come back are proven not to be fit for the kingdom of God; but Lord Jesus never said anything about those who look back, and then realize their mistake and continue plowing.
Our life is a war, made of various battles.
Some we win, some we lose, but the final result is what matters, for the glory of God.