The Apple Of God's Eye

May 17, 2009

Why Let The "Dead Bury Their Dead?"

Filed under: Christianity — melchia @ 2:57 am
Tags: , , ,

The context of Christ’s statement in Matthew 8:22 reveals that He offered this man an opportunity to participate in His ministry and become a teacher of the way that leads to eternal life (see Luke 9:59-60). When this man said that he had to first go and bury his father, Christ told him to let the “dead” (those unaware of spiritual matters) bury their dead.

Was Christ telling this man not to attend his father’s funeral? No, that is not what Jesus meant. A funeral usually takes only a short time, and Christ continually showed that Christians are to have compassion and show proper respect for
others. You may wish to read the short account of His having met a funeral procession during his ministry (Luke 7:11-15).

Why, then, did Christ answer this man in such a manner? He realized that the man was only making excuses. Probably, the young man’s father was an elderly man with not much time left to live. This man, leaning on his father’s condition, tried to put off the responsibility that was offered to him. Obviously, the man’s priorities were not based on faith and serving God first (Matt. 6:33). Had the young man wanted to, he could have found a way, without showing any disrespect, to have his father cared for and still serve God. That is why Christ told him to let the spiritually dead (those who were not being called, Ephesians 2:1) continue to live their lives as seemed best to them.

This account illustrates how Christians should not let undue concern over physical matters distract them from serving God once they are called to do His Work (John 6:44, 65). Read again the parable of the sower in Mark 4, verses 14 through 20.

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