‘Anyone who…looks behind him is useless for the kingdom of God.’ Luke 9:62 PHPS
Jesus looked for people prepared to do more than just believe in Him—He wanted people willing to follow Him. His early ministry was marked by people like Andrew, Peter, Philip, and Nathaniel (see John 1:35-52): people willing to leave where they were and what they owned in order to follow Him. Jesus called people to a life of complete commitment. When He ‘called the crowd to Him…He said, “If people want to follow me, they must give up the things they want. They must be willing even to give up their lives”’ (Mark 8:34 NCV). He didn’t want part-time followers. Trusting in Jesus will get us to heaven, but we have a purpose here on earth too. And to be useful on earth we need to be following Him daily. Three different men told Jesus, ‘I will follow you, Lord’ (Luke 9:61 NIV), but they weren’t willing to give up the priorities of their old lives (See v. 62). Jesus responded with this powerful metaphor: ‘Anyone who puts a hand to the plough and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.’ Following Jesus means we can’t keep looking back. Whatever is behind us needs to stay there – whether that’s past failure, guilt, fear, shame, betrayal, loss, abuse, rejection, resentment, and unforgiveness. Leaving these things behind is easier said than done, but we can’t let the past ruin our future. So let’s hand over our past to God, fix our eyes on what’s ahead and join those willing to ‘follow the Lamb wherever He goes’ (Revelation 14:4 NKJV).