I gotta have my orange juice.

Jesu, Juva

Plow

leave a comment »

Some preliminary thoughts on this passage from Luke 9 after discussing with a friend:

Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to him, “Lord, I will follow you wherever you go.”

And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” Then he said to another, “Follow me.”

But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”

Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.”

And another also said, “Lord, I will follow you, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.”

But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:57-62, NKJV)

It seems that plowing here is correlated with preaching the kingdom, given both the passage itself and the surrounding paragraphs.

I lean towards reading this with the same filter as the parables; namely that it is part of an overall covenant lawsuit against Israel and her shepherds and should be read corporately first of all. The appearance of the 70 (TR) underscores this. So does the lack of place for Jesus’s head; that is not a generic calling for us for all time.

But there’s always a secondary application to the church today and her shepherds, and to individuals. “Don’t you be like those branches that were cut off; they are an example for you.” This makes me think of Lot’s wife in particular. Plowing in the rest of the Bible supports these broader secondary applications.

Leithart offers this chiasm for Luke 9-19, centered around Jerusalem. There’s some beginning (Zacchaeus) and continuing to walk in faithfulness in the matching passage. I want to read the parable as corporate/shepherds first then individuals too.

I would be careful not to apply it woodenly to the pastoral ministry, especially in case of extenuating circumstances (bivocational pastor in changing circumstances; or someone impacted by ecclesiastical politics and shenanigans). I think we can discern between someone who still treasures God’s people and is giving himself somehow to the kingdom (in its fullest sense), versus someone who is longing for Sodom or Egypt or the former days.

But even the pastor still in full-time ministry needs to guard against longing for the former days.

Written by Scott Moonen

June 23, 2022 at 7:42 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: