Reading passage Luke 9:57-62
Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the Kingdom of God.” Luke 9:60 NIV
When Jesus called his disciples, at once they left everything and followed him. But here, some one is asking for time. He said he would follow, but after burying his father. His excuse seems very genuine. However, Jesus was not ready to wait. How sad! Why is our master so stubborn, not even allowing him to bury his dead father?
That is the problem. His father is not dead yet. According to the Jewish tradition, children receive their inheritance only when the father dies. This young man wanted to follow Jesus, but could find no security in following the Jesus folk. They were all poor. He thought of joining only after receiving his inheritance. Life would then be secure. For this, however, he would have to wait until his father’s burial.
Jesus said, leave the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the Kingdom of God.
The physically dead, of course, cannot bury the dead. Here, Jesus is using the same language the young man used. To him, burial of his father meant money and money meant security. In effect, Jesus was saying: Hey man, you are called to preach because you are alive to the Kingdom of God. Those people, your brothers and relatives, are dead to the Kingdom of God. Let the dead take the inheritance when your father dies. They are alive only to wealth. I need you to be dead to wealth and alive to the Kingdom of God. Go and preach the Kingdom.
Many who want to follow Jesus wait for their father to die. However, Jesus does not compromise with those who want both God and wealth. If you want to follow him, you need to die to the world.
You are either dead to the Kingdom of God and alive to the world, or alive to the world and dead to the Kingdom of God. You cannot be alive to both!
Prayer: Lord, I know following you is the most secure thing in the world. Help me to be dead to the world and alive to the kingdom of God!
Further readings Mt. 19:16-22; Luke 12:32-34