Saturday, August 14, 2021
“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” (Luke 9:57 KJV).
Does today’s Scripture and its context have any modern counterparts? (Indeed, they do!)
The exchange with the second disciple is as follows: “ 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.” A similar conversation is recorded in Matthew chapter 8, though the context is different: “ And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.  But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.”
Upon first glance, Jesus appears to be unpleasant and merciless here. This man promises to follow Jesus—but after he buries his father. Christ, however, tells him there is something more important than attending his father’s funeral. It is not to say his father is now dead and funeral arrangements are underway. Even if there is a death, Jesus was never asked to bring him back to life. Whatever the case, the disciple is not thinking Divine thoughts. He wants to return home to take care of his father until death, collect his inheritance, and then come back to follow Jesus. Materialism is distracting him—and the Lord advises him to get his priorities in their correct order.
“Let the dead bury their dead” is actually a play on words. Apparently, the man’s father is an unbeliever, a lost man, for he himself is not a follower of Christ. Therefore, the man should allow the spiritually dead—namely, other lost family members—to bury the physically dead (his father, also unsaved). Furthermore, it does not make sense for this disciple to leave the Lord (spiritual wealth) simply to gain physical wealth (inheritance in his father’s estate). Christ orders him, “Go thou and preach the kingdom of God.” This is more valuable than anything this temporary world has to offer!
Now, we get to the third and final disciple….
Our latest Bible Q&A: “What does ‘skin for skin’ mean in Job 2:4?”