Another man said, "I will follow you, Lord, but first let me go and say good-bye to my family." Jesus said, "If any person begins to plow a field, but looks back, he is not prepared for the kingdom of God."
— Luke 9:61-62
Again, Jesus is emphasizing the importance of Kingdom commitment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, can stand in the way of the all-surpassing call to follow Jesus. We press on, full speed ahead. When we get diverted, when we lose our way, when we stumble and fall, we must point our hearts in the direction of Christ and the Kingdom of God and continue on. Ours is a heavenly calling, a forward calling, an upward calling—it is not a call to return to the old ways, the old values, and the old answers. No turning back! Full steam ahead! Sin, death, and defeat are in our rear view mirror and Jesus with his heavenward calling lies ahead. No turning back, for we are bound for glory.
Keep me focused, dear LORD my Father and God of all faithfulness, on the heavenward call of Christ Jesus. I don't want to live detached from the needs around me because my focus is only heaven above. However, I do want to live with the focus of your Kingdom and its righteousness filling my heart, providing my dreams, and calling me to share in your glory. Help me notice the needs of others and bless them with your grace as I press on to fulfill the upward call you have given me. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Today's Verses in Context
The time was coming near when Jesus would leave and go back to heaven. He decided to go to Jerusalem. Jesus sent some men ahead of him. The men went into a town in Samaria to make everything ready for Jesus. But the people there would not welcome Jesus because he was going toward Jerusalem. James and John, the followers of Jesus, saw this. They said, "Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven and destroy those people?" But Jesus turned and scolded them. Then Jesus and his followers went to another town. They were all traveling along the road. Someone said to Jesus, "I will follow you any place you go." Jesus answered, "The foxes have holes to live in. The birds have nests to live in. But the Son of Man has no place where he can rest his head." Jesus said to another man, "Follow me!" But the man said, "Lord, let me go and bury my father first." But Jesus said to him, "Let the people that are dead bury their own dead! You must go and tell about the kingdom of God." Another man said, "I will follow you, Lord, but first let me go and say good-bye to my family." Jesus said, "If any person begins to plow a field, but looks back, he is not prepared for the kingdom of God."
Related Scripture Readings
All the people that don't know God try to get these things. Don't worry, because your Father in heaven knows that you need these things. The thing you should want most is God's kingdom and doing the good things God wants you to do. Then all these other things you need will be given to you.
I don't mean that I am already exactly like God wants me to be. I have not yet reached that goal. But I continue trying to reach that goal and to make it mine. Christ wants me to do that. That is the reason Christ made me his. Brothers and sisters, I know that I have not yet reached that goal. But there is one thing I always do: I forget the things that are past. I try as hard as I can to reach the goal that is before me. I keep trying to reach the goal and get the prize. That prize is mine because God called me through Christ to the life above.
Many people will follow them in the morally wrong things they do. And other people will say bad things about the Way of truth because of those people.
2 Peter 2:2