Commentaries
English
Arabic
English
Arabic
English
Arabic
English
Arabic
English
Arabic
English
Arabic
German
Arabic
Matthew
  
21Then another of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”22But Jesus said to him, “Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead.” (Matthew10:37)


The multitudes came to Christ, drawn by His comforting word and healing power. Many walked with Him to hear every word He said and watch everything He did. They felt His great love and authority and sensed His divine glory. His word deeply touched them, for He called them to repentance, trust and commitment and demanded full faith from them.
One of the listeners to Jesus was not willing to break off relations with his aged father. He wanted to stay with him until his death, and then he would be ready to follow the Lord. But Christ knew that this young man would change his mind if he went back to his relatives and his clan, and that he would lose contact with him. So He commanded the hesitant to follow Him at once to leave his father. He called him from his family responsibilities into the service of the kingdom of heaven.
Some commentators say that the young man suddenly heard about the death of his father and considered his absence from the observances of the burial an insult. Yet Christ explained to the grieved that the followers of Jesus have nothing to do with the perishable society, for whoever follows the Son of God moves from death to life and from sorrow to joy. Under the law, the high priest and those consecrated to the service of the Lord were not allowed to go near any dead body, nor defile themselves for their own father because they were holy to the Lord (Leviticus 21:11; Numbers 6:6). He who believes in Jesus must not be affected by death or by sorrow. He should testify to the life of God residing in him in order to become free from his family obligations that prevent him from serving Jesus fulltime so that the smell of the divine life may emanate from him. The request of the disciple seemed reasonable and yet it was not spiritual. He was not filled with the zeal to work for Jesus, and therefore pleaded to serve his family first, which seemed a plausible plea to him.
An unwilling heart creates excuses. We suppose the urge for this request comes from a true filial affection and respect for his father, yet still the preference should have been given to Christ.
The scribe said to Christ, “I will follow you” (Matthew 8:19). To one of His followers Christ said, “follow me” (v. 22). Comparing them together, it is intimated that we are brought to Christ by His call to us, not because of our promises to Him, “So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy” (Romans 9:16). He calls whom He will.
Christ considers natural people as living dead, void of divine life. All their activities lead them finally to death, for the spirit of death works in their thoughts and acts. All the teaching concerning culture, economics and politics do not lead men into eternal life, but rush them finally into hell. There is no hope in our world but in the living Christ who gives us endless life. He who follows Him shall find a new Father and many spiritual brothers and sisters. The joy in the family of God is greater than the sorrow in the family of men. Trust the Lord with all your heart and do not cling to your esteemed and honored family to an extent that prevents you from executing the will of God.
Let worldly offices be left to worldly people. Do not encumber yourself with them. Burying the dead, and especially a dead father, is a natural good work, but in some occasions it is not your duty. It may be done as well by others, that are not called and qualified, as you are, to serve Christ. You have something else to do and must not defer that.

Prayer
O Holy Father, we worship You for You have granted us eternal life in Your Son that we should cling to Him and never leave Him. Please help us not to consider our families more important than You. Help us so our worldly offices may not lessen our service for You. Free us from the fear of death and make us stand fast in the joy of Your life with all those who seek eternity.
Question
Why did Jesus prevent the young man from attending the ceremonies of his father’s burial?
PART 1
THE PRELIMINARY PERIOD IN THE MINISTRY OF CHRIST
(MATTHEW 1:1 – 4:25)
PART 2
CHRIST TEACHES AND MINISTERS IN GALILEE
(MATTHEW 5:1 – 11:1)
PART 3
THE UNBELIEVING JEWS AND THEIR ENMITY TO JESUS
(MATTHEW 11:2-18:35)
PART 4
JESUS’ MINISTRY IN THE JORDAN VALLEY DURING HIS JOURNEY TO JERUSALEM
(MATTHEW 19:1 – 20:34)
PART 5
JESUS’ LAST MINISTRIES IN JERUSALEM
(MATTHEW 21:1 – 25:46)
PART 6
CHRIST’S SUFFEINGS AND DEATH
(MATTHEW 26:1-27:66)
PART 7
THE RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
(MATTHEW 28:1-20)