A disciple never looks back. As the work of the plowman demands undivided attention, so
one who "looks back" is disqualified from "service in the kingdom of God" (v. 62). Jesus
does not say that one cannot excel as a disciple if he looks back, but that such a person
cannot be his disciple at all. He means what he says. There is no room for hesitation,
distraction, or regret. "How searching is this test to those who profess to be
Christians! Religion is everything, or nothing. He that is not willing to sacrifice
everything for the cause of God, is really willing to sacrifice nothing."
Religion must be all or nothing. It must dominate every part of thought and conduct; otherwise, our faith is
There are those who think that religious differences should never damage our relationships.
However, religious commitments are ultimate commitments, so that a relationship that is
not affected by them must be a most superficial relationship. If one can have a deep
relationship with another of a different religious commitment, it can only mean that they
are not devoted to their faiths. Every part of a Christian's life is dominated by his faith, or
he is not a Christian at all. Thus to have anything more than a superficial relationship with
a non-Christian must necessarily mean that he has compromised his faith. This is because
once the two venture beyond a superficial level of interaction, their two worldviews would
bound to clash. And to have the deepest kind of relationship with such a person, such as
marriage, is outright forbidden by the Bible.
As Jesus says, "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come
to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter
against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law a man's enemies will be
the members of his own household" (Matthew 10:34-36). There will be conflicts between
Christians and non-Christians. Religious commitments are not something that can be put
aside. The non-Christians who claim to be friendly and open-minded, and who desire
fellowship with everyone, nevertheless refuse to convert to the Christian faith when we
make it a requirement for fellowship. Thus even they acknowledge that religious
commitments matter, and that what we believe about the ultimate issues is more important
than peace and relationships. The difference is that they are self-righteous and hypocritical
about this they say that they value peace and relationships, but they ask us to put aside
our Christian principles while they hold on to their own beliefs about religious and ultimate
Only God has ever demanded total dedication from men and women in the way Jesus does.
We must keep in mind that when we are dealing with Jesus Christ, we are dealing with
God himself. Our readiness to follow him reflects our attitude toward God, because Jesus