Scripture

In Luke 9:62, Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Devotional

In the Bible, we read about many who discovered trouble for looking back. One of the most well-known Bible characters that stumbled in this way was Lot’s wife.

Lot was told to make his escape as the Lord was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot and his family were told in Genesis 19:17 not to stop or look back. However, Lot’s wife did look back and she became a pillar of salt.

The Israelites are another example of looking back. Moses had led the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage so the Lord could bring them to a land flowing with “milk and honey.”

Israel failed to show faith in God despite seeing mighty miracles such as the parting of Red Sea. Not long after departing from the Red Sea, the Israelites became hungry. They started to compare their present state to what they had in Egyptian bondage. (Ex. 16:3)

The problem the Israelites had in looking back would eventually lead to their failure to enter the promised land. (Num. 14)

In our text in Luke 9:62, Jesus is responding to one who wished to follow him. His problem is that he made his desire conditional. He wanted to go tell everyone at home farewell.

Jesus comes first to those in the kingdom of God. That is why this follower was deemed unfit. The citizens in God’s kingdom have forsaken all to follow Jesus. The apostle Peter noted in Matthew 19:27 he had left everything to follow Jesus. He still had the responsibility of having a wife and a home.

What Peter meant is that following Jesus is his top priority. It is not conditional. Neither should it be.

Prayer

Our glorious and heavenly father, Lord, we ask to follow you. We understand you must come first in our lives and we pray you will help us. Lord, help us to put off the carnal lives that put us in bondage to sin. Help us to keep looking toward Jesus and not to look back and desire our old sinful ways. We are ever thankful for your son Jesus and we pray we will obey his will. Help us to look into your word so we can better understand the way of Christ.

Please forgive us of all our sins. It is in the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Richard Dodson is minister of the Kearney Church of Christ.

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