In the Gospel of Matthew 8:22 we read about the disciple who wanted to follow Jesus but asked to first be allowed to go and bury his father who had died. And Jesus replies: “Follow me; let the dead bury their own dead.”
These are the recorded words that Jesus spoke, Jesus, the Son of God, the same God that is also known as love in 1 John 4:16.
If this was paraphrased it could read “Follow Me and let those who are physically living but spiritually dead, bury those who are both physically and spiritually dead.”
Sounds a little harsh, doesn’t it? Maybe even a little insensitive? But how could the Son of God, who was sent to us by the Father, who is love, say something like this?
Maybe it was because this disciple had a unique opportunity in front of him and Jesus wanted to make sure that he understood the opportunity. Or maybe Jesus wanted this disciple and us to understand that when it comes to choosing life, real everlasting life, that He alone holds out to us, nothing, absolutely nothing, should be allowed to stand in the way.
Remember, Jesus also said, “I am the way, the truth and the life; No man comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6)
Actually Jesus said a lot of things that today could be considered by some as “socially unacceptable” or “politically incorrect”. He called the scribes and Pharisees “hypocrites” and “a generation of vipers” (Matthew 23:25, 33). And there’s also a substantial number of events recorded in God’s Word that many can and do find difficult to equate with a “loving” God, which is usually associated with a corresponding failure to take into consideration God’s holiness and His divine sovereign purposes.
A lot of times Jesus just tells it “like it is” from His divine perspective and many were offended then and many are and will continue to be offended now. The questions that God put before Job and his “learned” friends thousands of years ago with regard to the created universe, including the various ecosystems on earth and all of created life, ourselves included, still remain largely unanswered, especially with regard to origin of life and the beginning of our universe, yet many of our “great scientific minds” have the audacity to reject, as out of hand, God’s revelation in the Bible, preferring to explain it all as sheer unguided chance and something coming from nothing. Of course with sheer unguided chance and the ultimate nothing, from the creation of the universe, comes no accountability. Mankind answers to no one. One has such liberties of choices that way, especially when it concerns those who “have” as opposed to those who “have not”. Think abortion, think limited resources, think debt load we’re leaving for our children, think people of color equality or male/female equality, think environmental responsibility, or corporate greed coupled with a lack of accountability for product safety, to name but a few.
Did I mention that God is no respect of persons, as in He doesn’t favor one person over another just because I am me and you are someone else (Acts 10:34-35).
“Follow me; let the dead bury their own dead.” Different reality, bigger picture being spoken of here. Some see it and some chose not to see it. Some hear it and some chose not to hear it.
Matthew 13:15 “For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.”
There’s no designed order, there’s no finely tuned balance, no objective morality, just totally unguided chance, random chaos and subjective morality that apparently continues to spiral towards total inclusiveness or exclusiveness, depending upon the chosen persuasion, at the expense of those “haves” who live in a different bubble from those “have nots” who don’t. It makes such perfect sense.
Romans 1:20 NIV “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”
And if I hear one more comment from the religious “right” about the ungodly “left” I’m going to scream. Attack the policy, but please do not infer that as a section of humanity, one is righteous and the other is not. Neither is “righteous” in and of ourselves, and to lose sight of that only indicates how blind we all have become.
Our heavenly Father didn’t send His Son to us to just enlighten our understanding, He also sent Jesus to us to, because of His love for us and to save us from ourselves. So yes, you’re going to hear Jesus say things that don’t sit right with our “enlightened” society, and you’re going to read of things happening in the Bible, in both the Old and New Testament, that aren’t going to sit well with those who defy anyone, including God, from making them accountable to a standard that is above their own. This isn’t new, it’s happened throughout all recorded history, it just seems like, as of late, the boundaries of what is righteous and what is not, are being clouded even more.
John 16:33 NIV “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!