Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.” Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
Onward and Upward
“What’s the goal?” That’s an important bit of information if you’re being asked to do something. It’s important to know: what’s my purpose; what’s my goal? If you don’t know what you’re aiming for, you’re likely never going to meet your goal.
When it comes to being a disciple of Jesus, our Savior makes the goal exceedingly clear. Our ultimate goal is eternal life in heaven; that’s what we’re aiming for. The apostle Paul could not have stated it more plainly than he did in his letter to the Colossians. “Set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” (3:1,2).
When a person once told Jesus, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family,” Jesus immediately replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” His point was crystal clear: if you’re going to be my disciple, you’ll need to direct your eyes onward and upward. He knows that we are easily distracted by the things and people of this world. Don’t look back, he urges us. Don’t take your eyes off the goal.
But don’t get Jesus wrong either. He wants us to demonstrate love and concern for the people in our lives, especially our families. He has called us to serve them daily in every way we can. But he also wants us to realize that if the choice is between him and our families—between our lives in this dying world and life everlasting with him in heaven—there simply can be no contest. Jesus and the heaven he freely gives us must be our ultimate goal.
And how do we get there? Not by our own doing, but through Jesus and his powerful Word. Cherish that saving Word because it directs your eyes onward and upward.
Dear Jesus, grant me your Spirit that I may always keep my heart and mind firmly fixed on you. Amen.
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