57 As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 And 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.” 59 To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” 60 But Jesus[a] said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” 61 Another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” 62 Jesus said to him, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
I love the way Jesus uses imagery to help us understand – to make things clear. There is no doubt in this passage that Jesus is making very clear that following Him means everything else is secondary.
The final image about putting your hand to the plough and not looking back strikes me as I read. If I’m ploughing a field (with an ox!) I have one hand on the plough and my other hand on my ox. I look ahead to keep the plough on its path. If I look behind… I stray from the path. What’s behind me is not important to this task.
There are so many distractions every day – if I don’t have clarity about where I’m headed – they take my focus and I stray from the path God has for me – to follow Him, to carry His presence and to bring His Kingdom here on earth. Not looking back – that takes commitment, and single-minded focus – this is what I’m here for!
Lord – help me stay focussed on You and Your kingdom, aware of the distractions and willing to keep choosing to keep my eyes on You. Help me be quick to recognise what is important and what is not. Thank you Holy Spirit for patiently teaching me!
Written by Ps. Linda Quinn