Commands of Christ: 59

Follow me and let the dead bury their own dead.

“Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead.” Matthew 8:22b

And to another he said, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.”  But he answered him, “Let the dead bury their dead.  But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”  Luke 9:59-60

The word “disciple” essentially means “follower”.  To follow Jesus means not following anything else.  He is the exclusive determinant of what we do, where, when, and how.  Jesus expounds on this idea in Luke 14:25-35.  In verse 26 of that chapter, He says, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.”  The point is that there is no comparison between the level of commitment we have for anything or anyone and our commitment to Christ.

Our overwhelming and overriding focus is on living as citizens of the Kingdom of God.  We are to follow our King at all times, in all places, without reservation or exception.  That is what Jesus commands.