And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
There are those that try to be super spiritual in the eyes of the rest of the world and they tend to over emphasize small portions of scripture without first coming to an understanding of the simple truth of that verse in it’s context. While there are many things in this passage that we may learn and apply to our daily lives there is one very simple truth that stands out to me at this time. Look with me at verse 62.
In the course of our lives as children of God we understand that as a Christian it is important that we start out right in our walk with God. When you travel it is never good to get off to a bad start. It seems like the first few miles of a long journey are a great determining factor of how the rest of the trip is gonna be. A bad start can easily discourage us for the duration of the trip. However, a good start can set a mood in us that whatever comes our way we will be determined to face and overcome it by the Grace of God because we want to keep all going as well as it started.
There are some who preach that this verse is teaching us to forget all about our past, wipe our memories clean of the sin we were once guilty of and never look back at the life we once lived. That simply is not what Jesus is telling us here.
The teaching here is that we are not to look longingly back at our old life and wish for it again, or in some cases to just go right back where we came from. God did not give man the ability to forget. Man has a weak and feeble mind that forgets anyway because it is finite and temporary, and we usually forget those things that we would rather remember. No. To forget is not a good thing. It is our memory that stores for us that which we learn. We are all probably familiar with the dreaded disease, Alzheimer’s. Many of us have seen what it does to a person who has it. It is not a good thing to forget. It is a sickness, a disorder, and men are trying to fight it in our day as never before.
The teaching here, not to long after our old life of sin, however, is not an impossible thing to do, not for a child of God. No doubt there are some memories that you have of your old friends and your old life before you got saved, that you still cherish. I have many memories of the years before I became a child of God. I do know that, at that time, I thought I was having a great time in my sin because I did not know any better. I was lost. Looking back now on those days I remember how much fun I was having, but I also realize that I could never do the things that I used to do and enjoy them again. I don’t have any desire to go back to the life that God saved me from. If you are saved you can’t be either. We are not what we used to be. We are new creatures in Christ with different desires, new joys and new pleasures; On a new course, a course for heaven.
Looking at our test verse I want you to notice a little something else. Those who are able to look back and long for their old life once again are not fit for the kingdom of God. Who is “fit” for the kingdom of God? Only those who have been made fit for it by being made the righteousness of God in Him, those to whom is imputed the righteousness of Christ. Only He is worthy and only His righteousness will do.