Dead bury the dead: A reply of Jesus when a new disciple of his asked for time to bury his father.
Jesus of Nazareth still remains one of the top three quotable dudes of all time.
It’s because he was unpredictable.
Religion has come along and tried to smooth out his edges, trimmed his beard, lightened his hair and softened his skin features—but if you caught him in his natural habitat on any given day, it would not have been easy to guess exactly what he was going to say, nor what he was going to do.
The reason for this is quite clear to me.
It’s not because he was a maniac minister, nor a confused Jew.
It’s just that the variety of things thrown his way by the diverse nationalities that had converged on Mesopotamia at that time required specific answers which didn’t necessarily run in a theme.
When asked about the Roman Empire, he suggested it was good to give them their due and not try to kick up dirt over meaningless subjects.
When queried about Abraham, who the Jews considered to be their father, Jesus threw off, “God can make children of Abraham out of stones.”
And one day, when a man said he’d like to come and join the Nazarene’s ministry team but he needed to go home and bury his father first, Jesus challenged, “Let the dead bury the dead. You come and follow me.”
Now we could probably spend a whole book discussing what he might have meant by that.
But he certainly was not choosing to be sympathetic to a young man who had lost his father. Rather, he was saying that if you continue to choose anything that comes along which appears to be important over what you know to be essential for your life, you will never get anywhere.
It’s a good lesson.
Some things are just dead.
America seems to be waiting around to either resurrect them or give them a decent burial, but politics, religion, racism, corporate greed and nationalism need to be entombed by those who think they still should be alive.
Folks who know they should be dead should be moving along:
Preparing the way for better things.