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"let the dead bury their own dead"

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by webdog, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. webdog

    webdog Active Member

    Mar 31, 2005
    This was discussed this morning in church, and found the following understanding of what this phrase means which contradicts what I have always heard and understood it to mean, which was the man's father was not dead and this individual wanted to wait until he was dead to follow Christ. This author believes his father WAS dead, and based on jewish customs, was asking this in a literal sense.


  2. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2009
    19 And there came a scribe, and said unto him, Teacher, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.
    20 And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the heaven have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
    21 And another of the disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
    22 But Jesus saith unto him, Follow me; and leave the dead to bury their own dead. Mt 8

    I see the the Lord knowing their inward motives here.

    The scribe declares to Him “I will follow you wherever”, maybe thinking of the greatness that lay ahead for him by offering his skills to this Rabbi. The Lord busted his bubble and let him know that He owned nothing, not even a place to lay His head. There was none of the greatness or prestige that the scribe desired to be had by following Christ.

    The disciple requests “let me go do this first”, perhaps maybe even having doubts or procrastinating, His Lord tells him no, it's not your problem, there's others that will do that, “you follow me”, much the same way He said it to Peter in Jn 21:22.

    I place the emphasis for the lesson here on the one says “I will follow”, the other says “let me first go”. Christ, knowing their hearts, rejects the first but keeps the second.

    #2 kyredneck, Jan 16, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 16, 2011
  3. TomVols

    TomVols New Member

    Oct 30, 2000
    The consensus of most commentators is the natural sense - that is, that the burying of the dead could be done by anyone, especially those spiritually dead, but the gospel of life must be urgently proclaimed and lived by those who are spiritually alive. While we bog down in the details of the dead, the customs, etc., any detail or anything that derails us from full obedience to the calling of Christ is something that can quickly become idolatrous.

    Interesting this comes up today. Two couples at church this morning announced a calling to a closed people group (hostile nations to the gospel). One is leaving behind a lucrative business to go, another leaves behind a large family. Following Jesus is all or nothing, and sometimes the "all" takes us to the uttermost parts of the earth. And because of this, people will respond to the gospel and do likewise despite Satan's opposition. Soli Deo Gloria.
    #3 TomVols, Jan 16, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 16, 2011
  4. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist Active Member

    Mar 17, 2002
    the dead man is dead, physically.
    the people burying him are equally dead spiritually, though moving about physically.
    that's it.