But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for God’s Kingdom.” - Luke 9:62 (WEB)
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One of the great themes throughout the Bible is the Kingdom of God. It was also the main theme of the preaching of Jesus Christ, as well as John the Baptist and the apostle Paul. At the time of Jesus’ ministry, His disciples and others were expecting an Earthly kingdom. At that stage, they did not understand that His kingdom was totally different from any Earthly kingdom.
In the Kingdom of God, the values are totally opposite from any worldly values. For example, conventional status is non-existent in the kingdom of God because the least important people become the most important people. In Luke 9: 46, we read about the disciples’ argument about their status and who is the most important. This shows a weakness in pride and exclusivity because this particular issue reappears in Luke 22 again. This is such a common issue even in modern times today. Jesus' answer is in Luke 9:48 – “For whoever is least among you all, this one will be great.” Jesus also illustrates this principle by letting a child stand next to Him. Give priority to those that are the least in the ranks of normal society.
Jesus Christ emphasizes this very important principle of status once again in Luke 18: 16-17: “Allow the little children to come to me, and don’t hinder them, for God’s Kingdom belongs to such as these. Most certainly, I tell you, whoever doesn’t receive God’s Kingdom like a little child, he will in no way enter into it.” Jesus’ teachings are totally opposite to the values of society today. Let’s look at people from the perspective of God’s kingdom.
Jesus Christ also teaches us that we should not look back. Luke 9: 62 - But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for God’s Kingdom.” Focusing on God’s ministry and being His disciples and His children, is all about focus. We should not keep looking back. The apostle Paul says in Philippians 3:13 - “but one thing I do: forgetting the things which are behind and stretching forward to the things which are before”.
There are so many reasons that let us keep looking back in our lives. Like Lot’s wife that looked back (Genesis 19:26), it might be disappointments or regrets in life. Or things we hoped for, but did not happen. Or just ordinary worldly distractions. It is so very easy to get distracted by worldly cares, problems and even pleasures. This prevents us from keeping our focus and to stretch forward to God's Kingdom. He is using us for His Kingdom right where we are now.
Let’s pray that the Lord will help us to focus on His Kingdom and not to look back.
Reflection on Luke 9: 46 – 62 by Hanne Teach
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