I’ll be honest with you from the start. Given my ancestry and my penchant for white-collar work, this verse doesn’t sit well with me. These days I’m not trying to put my hands on anybody’s plow. To do so would be a return to a very dark period of history that continues to haunt African-Americans. But Jesus uses these words. This is a lesson on preaching to your context. He lived in a very agrarian society, so if they understood anything they would understand plowing. Jesus was a mastermind at preaching in a way that caused people’s’ minds to vividly imagine themselves as subjects in his teaching. What is he getting at here? Simple. Once you decide to follow Him…
Don’t play with it.
In a society where people enter uncommitted marriages, can’t commit to a major as they enter college, and break commitments without thinking twice, Jesus is asking for us to do one thing…”fully commit yourself to Me.” He’d much rather know that you aren’t willing to commit to Him than you expressing commitment and demonstrating an uncommitted life.
We hardly commit ourselves to God for one day a week, yet we commit ourselves for two years to Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon for the newest gadget.
How is it that a gadget gets more of a commitment than Christ? A gadget that won’t last long. A gadget that will be replaced by the next best thing. Today Jesus is saying: follow Me. No gadgets. Just a life transformed by My power. What are you waiting on? Get to plowing. I close with this cover of one my old school favorites:
I have decided,
To follow Jesus,
No turning back,
No turning back.
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 9:62)