Luke 9:62, “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Around the time of the Revolutionary War, in the United States of America, a group of men existed, called minute-men. The terms “minutemen” and “militia” are often thought of as one and the same. However, in early America– especially in the 18th century– there was a distinct difference. Minute-men represented a small hand-picked force selected from the ranks of local militia companies and regiments. Approximately one-third of the men in each militia unit were chosen “to be ready to march or fight at a minute’s notice.” If they were eating with their families, putting the kids to bed, bathing, sleeping, etc…, when the call came they were to immediately switch into battle mode and GO! This sounds like the commitment that Jesus was after we He calls. Matthew 11:12 reads, “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” The minute-men had the mentality that Jesus was after, those ready in an instance to obey the call and GO!
Looking back to the man with the deceased father, I envision what Jesus was saying to him, was, “Come now, not later, I have an urgent job for you, that is to go preach the Kingdom of God! Go preach this living, active, forcefully advancing kingdom. You are spiritually alive, follow me, be my disciple, and preach the Kingdom” . It sounds kind of rough reading, the Kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence and the violent take it by force,” however Jesus needs those that have that kind of soldiers’ mentality, ready to “violently fight” for the kingdom. Jesus was saying to this man, “I am calling you for such a time as this.” Remember Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury the dead, but you go and preach the Kingdom of God.” I will always appreciate years back when a dear friend named Pastor Paul came to celebrate my wedding even though his dad had just died. He was able to rejoice with me in what God was doing in uniting my wife and I.
John McNeill, a well known Scottish preach of a past generation, used to tell how he found this saying directly relevant to him. When his father died in Scotland, towards the end of the nineteenth century, he was in the English Midlands, and was advertised to address an evangelistic meeting in a certain city on the very day of his father’s funeral. People would have understood had he sent a message to say that he was compelled to cancel his engagement. ‘But I dared not send it,’ he said, ‘for this same Jesus stood by me, and seemed to say, “Now, look, I have you. You go and preach the gospel to those people. Would you rather bury the dead or raise the dead?” And I went to preach”.
When Jesus told the man, “Let the dead bury the dead,” it seems that this man did not obey Jesus to go. This sounds like much of the church when this same Jesus calls you and me to go and preach the kingdom of God. When he does most make an excuse and fail to obey the call! “Until we stop relying upon our own efforts, we will be unable to rely upon God (James Beall).” Burying the dead is not a work of the Spirit, obeying Jesus to preach His Word, is a Spirit work. Let’s cast off excuse, and Go, You Go, I Go, and preach the Kingdom! Be blessed, and be obedient.
Until the nets are filled…Blessings Pastor Phil <><