No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God. – Luke 9:62.
Today’s scripture is one of those that is troubling at first read, and seems out of character with the loving forgiving Christ. Jesus says these words after he invites someone to follow him and the man wants to say goodbye to his family – a reasonable request one would think. I’m certainly not qualified to explain the passage, but I do think Jesus was trying to prepare his followers for the tough road ahead. My football coach would entreat us once the ball was snapped to play with reckless abandon until the whistle blew – no second guessing or hesitation about one’s assignment.
Having a great faith is not easy. There is no fretting about one’s progress or looking back to see how far one is getting on. There are no water breaks or halftimes. One does not get troubled or discouraged, if he falls or fails, he gets right back up and goes on with renewed earnestness. Maybe, just maybe, Jesus was trying to say to all the would be followers, don’t think once you start this journey you can go about it on your own terms. You are either all in or don’t play at all. What do you think Christ was saying?
Thanks for saying this. American Christianity has turned largely to feel-good praise songs and self-help sermons. Those trumpeting holiness are largely ignored. (Starting to sound very much like the OT prophets.)
Interestingly, just yesterday, Drew Dyck’s new book “Yawning at Tigers,” which addresses this same issue, was released. I highly recommend it.