Luke 9:62 - How Is Your Furrow?

Luke 9:62; How Is Your Furrow?

Luke 9:62 (KJV)  And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his
hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

Luke 9:62 (EAV)  Jesus said to him, No one who puts his hand to
the plow and looks back [to the things behind] is fit for the
kingdom of God.

Luke 9:62 (TLB)  But Jesus told him, "Anyone who lets himself be
distracted from the work I plan for him is not fit for the Kingdom of

Learning to Put Christ First (9:57-62)
These three men called Jesus "Lord" but did not do what He told
them to do (6:46; Matt. 7:21-27). When he heard of possible
hardships, the first man would not deny himself. The second man was
concerned about the wrong funeral: he should have taken up his cross, died
to self, and obeyed God's will. The third man had his eyes in the
wrong direction and could not follow Christ. The conditions for
discipleship are given in 9:23, and these three men failed to meet them.
Their emphasis was "me first." No wonder the laborers are so few!
[Wiersbe Expository Outlines]

God requires a wholehearted relationship from us.  A halfhearted
one will not do.  Total consecration to God is necessary in our
relationship with him if we are to make it to the kingdom. [New Bible

Work in God's kingdom requires total devotion and absolute
attention. [Disciple SB]

As ploughing requires an eye intent on the furrow to be made and
is marred the instant one turns about, so will a person not be
qualified for God's kingdom who does the work of God with a distracted
attention, a divided heart. [Jamieson, Fausset, And Brown Commentary]

He who "looks back" is not concentrating on the task at hand. He
is, at best, a halfhearted worker.... Absolute and undivided devotion
is essential to true discipleship. He who would plow a straight
furrow in any service for God must give the task his wholehearted,
uninterrupted attention. [SDA Commentary]

The plows of Palestine were very light. While they could be
guided by one hand, usually the left, that hand had to keep the plow
upright, constantly adjust its depth, and avoid the rocks and stones
which might break off or blunt its delicate point. At the same time
the plowman had to drive his oxen, usually using an iron-tipped,
six-foot goad held in his right hand. And all the time the plowman had to
concentrate on keeping his furrows straight.
While light and apparently simple, the plow of the ancient
Middle East required the farmer's total and absolute concentration.
And so Jesus gave His answer. One who chooses to follow Jesus
has no choice but to give the same total and absolute attention to
"service in the kingdom of God" (9:62) that was required of a farmer when
he plowed - we give our total, absolute attention to serving Him.
[Victor Bible Background Commentary]

You see, what Jesus seeks is the now disciple (v. 62). Jesus
wants the person who will put his or her hand to the plow and, without
looking back, move straight out to do God's will.
The figure of the plowman is succinct. As a teen, I plowed with
an old one-horse hand plow, settling the reins around my shoulders,
grasping the handles firmly, struggling to hold the blade level and
steady, to make an even furrow. As the first furrow was cut into the
virgin ground, I picked out a pair of marks at the far end of the field
to line up carefully. If I looked back, the plow wandered, and the
furrow snaked off across the field. Only by looking ahead, with eyes
fixed on my guiding marks, could I do my job.
This is what Jesus asks of us. To fix our eyes ahead, on Him,
and not to look back. We are to take the plow, now, and commit
ourselves to His task. [Victor Teacher's Commentary]

So in religion. He that enters on it must do it with his whole
heart, He that comes still loving the world-- still looking with regret
on its pleasures, its wealth, and its honors-- that has not
"wholly" forsaken them as his portion, cannot be a Christian, and is not
fit for the kingdom of God. How searching is this test to those who
profess to be Christians! And how solemn the duty of all people to
renounce all earthly objects, and to be not only "almost," but
"altogether," followers of the Son of God! It is perilous to tamper with the
world-- to look at its pleasures or to seek its society. He that would
enter heaven must come with a heart full of love to God; giving "all"
into his hands, and prepared always to give up all his property, his
health, his friends, his body, his soul to God, when he demands them, or
he cannot be a Christian. Religion is everything or nothing. He
that is not willing to sacrifice "everything" for the cause of God,
is really willing to sacrifice nothing. (Barnes' Notes)

"No man, having put his hand to the plough, and designing to
make good work of his ploughing, will look back, or look behind him,
for then he makes balks with his plough, and the ground he ploughs
is not fit to be sown; so thou, if thou hast a design to follow me
and to reap the advantages of those that do so, yet if thou lookest
back to a worldly life again and hankerest after that, if thou
lookest back as Lot's wife did to Sodom, which seems to be alluded to
here, thou art not fit for the kingdom of God.".... As those are not fit
to be sown with divine comforts whose fallow ground is not first
broken up, so those are not fit to be employed in sowing who know not
how to break up the fallow ground, but, when they have laid their
hand to the plough, upon every occasion look back and think of
quitting it. Note, Those who begin with the work of God must resolve to
go on with it, or they will make nothing of it. Looking back
inclines to drawing back, and drawing back is to perdition. Those are not
fit for heaven who, having set their faces heavenward, face about.
But he, and he only, that endures to the end, shall be saved.
(Matthew Henry's Commentary)

One of the saddest aspects in the Christian community involves
those spiritual leaders who, after perhaps years of effective service
for God, allow sin to drive them from their ministries. It may be a
pastor, an elder, a deacon, a Sunday school worker, or a missionary. The
sad results are the same. Testimonies are ruined, the faith of
others may be weakened, and the cause of Christ suffers. What causes
some to "look back" after once putting their hand to the plow?
Several reasons can be given. First, the individual usually becomes
careless, forgetting that his sinful nature can destroy his testimony,
apart from the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Even the apostle
Paul expressed his awareness of this potential danger (1 Co 9:26,
27). Second, carelessness usually leads to prayerlessness. When we do
not pray, we do not receive (Jas 4.2). Third, daily Bible study is
neglected by the erring one. If these three tragic situations are allowed
to develop, then a spiritual fall is inevitable. However, it must
be remembered that God is the God of the second chance. Both Jonah
(Jon 3.1) and John Mark (compare Ac 13.13 with 2 Ti 4.11) experienced
God's forgiveness and restoration. Yet in the case of Lot's wife it
was fatal. [Daily Devotional Bible mod]

Commitment to Jesus prevents backsliding. What does Jesus want
from us? Total dedication, not halfhearted commitment. We can't pick
and choose among Jesus' ideas and follow him selectively; we have to
accept the cross along with the crown, judgment as well as mercy. We
must count the cost and be willing to abandon everything else that
has given us security. With our focus on Jesus, we should allow
nothing to distract us from the manner of living that he calls good and
true. [Live Application SB]

To follow Jesus means more than personal commitment to Christ as
a person. It also means commitment to carry out Christ's purposes
in the world. The one who follows Jesus must "go and proclaim the
kingdom of God" (9:60), and gladly give himself "for service in the
kingdom of God" (9:62). To follow Jesus means to identify ourselves with
His purposes in the world, and give ourselves fully to them. [Victor
Bible Background Commentary]

God asks us to give His service the first place in our lives, to
allow no day to pass without doing something to advance His work in
the earth.... It is the consecration of the life and all its
interests, that is necessary.... To everyone who becomes a partaker of His
grace, the Lord appoints a work for others. Individually we are to
stand in our lot, saying, "Here am I; send me." Whether a man be a
minister of the Word or a physician, whether he be merchant or farmer,
professional man or mechanic, the responsibility rests upon him. It is his
work to reveal to others the gospel of their salvation. Every
enterprise in which he engages should be a means to this end. PK221, 222

Deserter or Disciple?;.. You can never be the same after the
unveiling of a truth. That moment marks you as one who either continues on
with even more devotion as a disciple of Jesus Christ, or as one who
turns to go back as a deserter. [In His Time; My Utmost For His
Highest re Joh.6:66]

There are some whose hearts are in the past. They walk forever
looking backwards and thinking wistfully of the good old days.... To this
man Jesus did not say either, "Follow!"  or, "Return!" he said, "I
accept no lukewarm service," and left the man to make his own decision.
[Barclay Commentary]

Mat 6:24 (NCV)  "No one can serve two masters. The person will
hate one master and love the other, or will follow one master and
refuse to follow the other. You cannot serve both God and worldly