|Sunday, November 12, 2023|
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
“And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” Lk 9:61-62
esus shared with us three categories of followers in Lk 9 from verses 57-62. The first person said “ I will follow you- Jesus told him that he has no house or material means. End of story. He backed out. I can not follow a poor man. We never heard about that man again.
The second person, Jesus said – Follow me. He said “let me go and bury my father- Jesus said it is unnecessary. Let the dead bury the dead. In the end, he could not follow Jesus until he felt he was ready! Again, he went away.
The third person, like the first one, said Jesus, I will follow you on one condition - let me say bye-bye to my family. Jesus said no one that puts his hand on the plow should look back. What does it mean to put one’s hand on the plow? It simply means to begin or undertake a task. What did Jesus mean when he said no man having put his hand to the plow and looking back is fit for the kingdom of God? If someone is plowing a field and looks back, they will naturally turn and not plow in straight rows. Jesus wants us to look straight ahead and leave our old life behind and be focus on eternal issues.
What the Holy Spirit is teaching us this morning is that you can of your own free will choose to follow Jesus and Jesus can also invite you or send another human being to invite you, but the ultimate decision to follow through depends on you. Today, both chronic unbelievers and believers are behaving the same way. They want to make decisions about Christ the way they like. But our focus is on the believers. I want to encourage you not to look back. It is dangerous.
The story of Lot’s wife is very pathetic, God came down an earth as an angel to tell Abraham what he was going to do in Sodom and Gomorrah so that he can intercede and He did, as if that was not enough, God sent angels to physically draw her and her husband out of the land of Sodom and Gomorrah, and warned them not to look back. She did not listen, a quick turn, she lost her life and became a pillar of salt (Gen 19:26)!
Look at Samson. His parents warned him several times, and he looked back, and he was made blind and died a terrible death. Jude 14-16. Jesus took Judas, made him a disciple, cleaned him, trained him – but no, he looked back and eventually committed suicide. Solomon was given exceptional wisdom he was warned, not to look back - he did and perished.
No excuse to look back, when you are born again is good enough. The story was told about ancient Germanic tribe Julius Caesar mentioned in his book on the Gallic Wars. And this tribe, before they would go out to battle, before they would seek the conquering of new lands, they would set fire to their own houses. Why? So, there would be no going back. The old life is done, and the new is ahead. And you better fight for eternal life with Jesus, for there is no going back! Julius Caesar, we were told once “crossed the Rubicon” – a river in northern Italy. No turning back.
Conclusion: The pressure is high today, and the temptations are even higher. You can give any excuse for going back, but it will only lead to one result taking you back to sin, to failure, to where God has redeemed you from, to where you have prayed to leave , to hell. Ex 14:15 “And the Lord said unto Moses (Amos Dele Dada, put your name there) Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel (the Christians of TODAY) that they go forward:” You have put your hand on the plough -Do not look back! Too dangerous an option. You have not put your hand on the plough- Embrace Jesus as Lord and Saviour- Do it now- TOMORROW MAYBE TOO LATE! Shalom