Difficult Texts

"Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God."


This verse reveals one man's response to Christ's call of discipleship. From the context of this passage, it seems quite apparent that the man's father was not yet dead. If the father had been dead, the son would have had no opportunity to accompany Christ and the disciples. In that hot country, with no embalming, bodies had to be buried immediately. The man was asking to postpone following the Lord until his father had passed away and been buried.

Christ' s answer exposed the procrastinator. It indicated the high priority of obedience. Nothing must stand in the way of instant response to the call of Jesus. The Bible speaks of a certain sinner being "dead while she liveth." 1 Timothy 5:6. In Luke 9:60, Jesus was rebuking the man with these words: "Let the [spiritually] dead bury their [physically] dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God." In other words, make your decision while the call is strong and the conviction of truth is urgent. Delay could result in discouragement and loss of interest.