Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family."
Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God".
This is an intriguing piece of scripture. Seems a bit harsh for Jesus to reply in such a manner, no?
What do you think this person thought when Jesus replied in such a way? Perhaps something like this:
"Sheesh! I just told Jesus I was going to forsake my own plans and follow him. All I want to do is go say bye to my family, and he doesn't have the courtesy to let me do that!?"
If we're honest with ourselves, though...we sometimes treat God like this.
God has saved us, but we'll obey when and where it's convenient. God has commanded us to do something, but we'll do it "when/after/once/as soon as" - and we decide to obey His command on our own terms.
At first glance, this scripture can be a bit of a struggle. At least for me it can be. It seems like Christ is being a bit "unreasonably" harsh. Not fit for the kingdom of God, because he wants to go back and bid his family farewell?
This is one of those scriptures you need to "think on" a bit. And here's what I think.
The person Jesus is speaking with doesn't "get it". Had he realized the hugeness of the situation he was in the middle of, he wouldn't have been thinking about saying goodbye to his family. He would have been awestruck, focuses solely on the Savior. Running toward Him. Forsaking everything else in full realization that he had found the one true treasure of eternity.
The modern equivalent? Those who are Christians, who follow Jesus, but don't give Him everything. They say, "Lord, I'm yours! But I want to keep this...this...and, that thing too. I'll hang onto those".
No! If you "get it", none of those other things matter! You've found the true treasure of eternity! Don't look back!