Jesus said to him, `No one who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.' Luke 9:62
On the road to Jerusalem, three men encounter Jesus; two pledge their desire to follow him; to the third Jesus calls, `Follow me' (Lk 9:57-62).
To be his follower involves `following', `leaving' and `going and proclaiming the kingdom of God'. This is the only way to be `fit for the kingdom of God', not fit to enter the kingdom of God. To be `fit' is to be useful, suitable for work in the kingdom of God (rather than to qualify to enjoy it).
Often as undergraduates, we may hear the call of Christ to serve him and needy fellow human beings, and we begin with high ideals. But as we progress the `but's of custom, convention, duty to home and loved ones, and comforts of luxury and security crowd in.
Jesus says that once we commence ploughing, the only way to drive a straight furrow (one that is fit for the kingdom of God) is to keep looking ahead to him and not looking back with self-confidence, excuses, compromises or half-heartedness. There must be an absolute commitment to Jesus -- his standards (example and commands), his empowering and his glory.
Michael Wilcock envisages Jesus speaking today; `Suppose I were to lead you towards work in which income would be lower, or your prospects more uncertain (humanly speaking), and your accustomed standard of living non-existent? Or suppose I were to ask you to do something for me which according to most people of your class and background is simply "not done"? Or suppose I were to summon you to my service with such a peremptory call that your nearest and dearest would have to be left without an explanation? Would you even then come my way?'
The call of Christ must take priority even over the call of medicine! The most difficult choices in life are not between the good and the evil, but between the good and the best.
Gracious Father, we thank you that your Son, our Saviour,
fully complied with every one of the demands which he
enjoins upon his followers; help us by your Holy Spirit so
to follow him by setting priorities and making our values,
attitudes and work fit for your kingdom.
Further reading: Mk 10:32-34. Heb 12:1-2.