Look Ahead And Not Back
57 “Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, “Lord, 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 Then He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.” 61 And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.” 62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.’” Luke 9:57-62 NKJV
Jesus and the disciples are on their way to Jerusalem when three individuals approach who may follow after Jesus. The first man says he will follow Jesus anywhere that He goes. The response of Jesus is that He has no place to lay His head. What happened just before this was a village in Samaria would not receive Jesus. Jesus is saying that following Him means rejection and sacrifice.
Then the second man is one that Jesus invites him to follow. But the man wants to delay the invitation until after his father has died, claiming that at that point he would follow Jesus. But Jesus is on His way to Jerusalem and He will soon die on the cross so the time to follow Jesus was now.
The third individual, seemingly responding to the words Jesus had just spoken to the one who wanted to wait to follow Jesus, says that he will follow Jesus, but desires to return home to say goodbye. Jesus tells him that once you have begun to plow you can’t look back. When we choose to follow Jesus, it does not matter what has happened previously, there is no looking back only forward in Him.
It is an interesting picture Jesus paints for the third man. A farmer plowing does not look back. There is nothing to see behind him, he has to have his eyes trained on what is ahead, what is in front of him. That is how he kept his rows straight and prepared for the seed to be planted. By looking back he will lose his forward perspective and the rows will not be straight. To keep your life on His straight track for you, look forward and not back.
Don’t look back at what was. That can only lead to frustration and future disappointment because looking back got you off course in your forward movement. Look ahead to where Jesus is leading you, as you faithfully follow. Look ahead as you follow and you will find success in Jesus.
J Todd Hostetler