Let the Dead Bury the Dead

Matthew 8:18-22

As Jesus continues to teach us of His authority over all things, He is approached by two men. The first declares that he is willing to follow Jesus anywhere. The second man seems willing to follow but first wants to bury his parents. Both offers of faithfulness seem sincere enough but there is more to these passages than meets the eye.

The first man comes to Jesus and declares himself a follower. This is backwards. Jesus comes to us. All of the 12 Disciples were called by Jesus, not the other way around. Jesus' answer to the man displays the man's utter lack of understanding. He has promised something he is unable to do. Certainly after watching Jesus heal the sick and cast out demons it seems like it might be a good idea to attach oneself to The Lord. Life as a disciple is not all free food and perfect health. It is persecution and struggle - sometimes.

The interaction with the second man is really interesting. He asks Jesus if he can go home and bury his parents. Seems like a reasonable request, right? But what the man was actually asking was to be allowed to live out life with his parents, until their deaths (probably many years later) so that he could inherit. If he left them to follow Jesus he risks loosing that boon. Clearly, Jesus is not his first priority and Jesus response indicates His knowledge of that lack of true faith.

Anything we put above The Lord in our lives stands in the way of our discipleship. And never kid yourself that God doesn't know where He stands in your life. We can try and deceive ourselves  with the greatness of our piety but we will never fool God. He will call us on it every time.