02-13-19 Insight Post

Recently, in our reading, we’ve seen Jesus gaining popularity and growing a good reputation. His genuine concern for people, coupled with His clear and compelling teaching, led many people to begin believing in Him. In Matthew 8 we hear something that seems strange, though, especially knowing the caring and kind reputation Jesus was gaining. One of the many people who was impressed with Jesus came to Him and requested to have a few days to go home, before picking up and literally following Him. Jesus responds in, what appears to be a callous manner: "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." 22 But Jesus told him, "Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead." Matthew 8:21-22 (NIV), this doesn’t sound like Jesus… does it? First, we need a bit of context, this man seems to be making a reasonable request that would only mean a few days away, assuming his father was already deceased, however, that isn’t what he meant. The man was using a common idiom of that culture which referred to him staying at home, fully engaged in his family’s affairs, until his father died. If he did not do that, he would jeopardize his inheritance, so what the man is saying in modern terms is, “Jesus let me go take care of my career and future security and then I’ll come follow you.” Jesus’ response, according to scholars of that time, is to use another idiom that meant to let the spiritually dead focus their attention on earthy matters. Jesus may sound cold but not when we understand the context of the request and His response - He wants us to recognize the seriousness of choosing to accept and follow Him. The life He calls us to isn’t a hobby, or something that should be pushed back on the priority list, it is a brand-new way of living, with Him as our leader, that we should immediately pick up and follow.


Rusty Coram

Senior Pastor

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