“Let The Dead Bury Their Dead” What Did Jesus Mean?

Read: Luke 9: 57-60 (NASB)

57 As they were going along the road, someone said to Him, “I will follow You wherever You go.” 58 And Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” 59 And He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” 60 But He said to him, “Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.”

Also read: Matthew 8 :21-22 (NASB)

21 Another of the disciples said to Him, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” 22 But Jesus said to him, “Follow Me, and allow the dead to bury their own dead.”

Jesus was speaking directly to a young follower. The follower had a bit of a dilemma, should he leave home and follow serving Jesus or wait for his father to die? It was a choice between God or his family. It is a sign of faith to God to put God above your own family. The usage of the phrase “I must bury my father” had common usage as a figure of speech. The phrase meant “allow me to wait and receive my inheritance”. So it was very likely that his father was still alive yet very ill. The reference to “the dead” meant that the family was dead spiritually, likely being unbelievers.

Read Matthew 10: 37-39 (NASB)

37 “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.

God comes before family. That does not mean to disrespect your family; it means that we are to put God first in your life!

God Bless

Brian Mason