“Follow Me” No One Walks Alone
“No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9)
These are pretty serious words Jesus speaks. When I read them my heart was pulled over and over to the words “what was left behind.” What is Jesus talking about here?
A few sentences before this it says:
And to another he said, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.” But he answered him, “let the dead bury their dead. But you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
That seems pretty harsh. But knowing what I know about Jesus, He is firm but always loving. So looking at it knowing this about Him I wondered what he was getting at.
Then it struck me, what do you do when you bury someone? You perform rituals, often with a spiritual undertone. So then could Jesus be saying here, if you’ve chosen me don’t turn back to those old pagan ways? Instead keep moving forward in the truth that Jesus has saved you from death.
The next paragraph says:
“And another said, ‘I will follow you, Lord but first let me say farewell to my family at home.’ To him Jesus said, ‘No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.’”
So what was Jesus saying here? Was this person wanting to go say goodbye to his family and settle up with his inheritance so he would have money to follow Jesus? Is Jesus saying come on, let’s just get going?
Again this “what was left behind” phrase is raised to my spirit, and I have to ask Jesus, what is left behind in my own life?
What is this thing I’m tempted to go back to rather than following Jesus and moving forward?
The answer was simple as it so often is. Jesus spoke to my spirit, “Daughter, I say to you let good things grow in your heart. Let the old pass to the side of your path. You say to me you love, then be loving.”
It’s tempting to turn back to anger, jealousy, greed, unforgiveness. The opposite of all the ways Jesus is calling us into freedom.
So for me “what was left behind” in my life is anything opposed to Love because Jesus is Love. (see 1 John 4:8)
But how do we be loving? If I try, I’ll fail constantly, like a child stumbling and falling as they learn to walk. But the trying to walk is adorable to parents just as our trying to love is precious to our Heavenly Father.
And again Jesus whispered kindness to my heart, “Show me the path you desire. Take it and I’ll show you the path unfolding. Rest in me, secure in the way I lead.”
If we desire the path of Love and we follow Jesus, He will help us. He never said we had to walk alone. He said “Follow me.”