Have you ever plowed a field with a single blade plow and a pair of oxen? Take one and a half minutes to see what it looks like: http://youtu.be/xuytRXRfyeI
It looks like you have to be highly focused on what lies ahead, right?
By the way, what did the ox say when they put him to work plowing a field?………..this is a yoke right?!
When Jesus said, “Anyone who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is not fit for the kingdom of God,” he didn’t mean you have to be so focused on doing everything right or you won’t go to heaven.
What did he mean?
I think a better translation from the Greek for the word for “fit” is “useful.” What would happen in the video if the young man would look back while the oxen were moving forward?
If he didn’t get his neck jerked out of place first, and he continued to look back to see if his plow lines were straight, he’d actually be redirecting his oxen to pull out of alignment. The purpose for which he was looking back, although good, would throw him off course of the goal he had in mind.
“Anyone who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is not useful for the kingdom of God.”
The kingdom of God.
And according to Jesus, the kingdom of God is at hand – within reach…now.
So what does the kingdom of God look like? Where there is peace, harmony, contentment, fulfillment, hope, love, goodness, and justice for all God’s creation – there is the kingdom of God.
Harmony is possible now (Remember: With God, all things are possible).
It takes work. It takes focus.
And according to Jesus, we’ve got to stop looking back.
Tradition is wonderful, but too often it holds us back or gets us off alignment for the purpose God has set before us. That purpose is peace and harmony.
When we keep looking back at tradition to see if we are “doing it right,” we throw ourselves off course.
This is how we always used to do it. How many times has that derailed the efforts of those trying to make their congregations appear welcoming to the unchurched?
Stop looking back. There’s so much peace and harmony within reach that our barns would fill to overflowing if we kept our focus on what lies ahead.