Matthew 8:22
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
But Jesus said to him, "Follow Me, and allow the dead to bury their own dead."

King James Bible
But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.

Darby Bible Translation
But Jesus said to him, Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.

World English Bible
But Jesus said to him, "Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead."

Young's Literal Translation
and Jesus said to him, 'Follow me, and suffer the dead to bury their own dead.'

Matthew 8:22 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Let the dead bury their dead - The word "dead" is used in this passage in two different senses. It is apparently a paradox, but is suited to convey the idea very distinctly to the mind. The Jews used the word "dead" often to express indifference toward a thing; or, rather, to show that that thing has no "influence" over us. Thus, to be dead to the world; to be dead to the law Romans 7:4; to be dead to sin Romans 6:11, means that the world, law, and sin have not influence or control over us; that we are free from them, and act "as though they were not." A body in the grave is unaffected by the pomp and vanity, by the gaiety and revelry, by the ambition and splendor that may be near the tomb. So people of the world are dead to religion. They see not its beauty, hear not its voice, are not won by its loveliness. This is the class of people to which the Saviour refers here. Let people, says he, who are uninterested in my work, and who are "dead in sin" Ephesians 2:1, take care of the dead. Your duty is now to follow me.

There may have been several reasons for this apparently harsh direction. One may have been to "test" the character and attachment of the man. If he had proper love for Christ, he would be willing to leave his friends, even in the most tender and trying circumstances. This is required, Matthew 10:27; Luke 14:26. A second reason may have been, that if he returned "at that time," his friends might ridicule or oppose him, or present plausible arguments, "in the afflictions of the family," why he should not return to Christ. The thing to which he was called was moreover of more importance than any earthly consideration; and, for that time, Christ chose to require of the man a very extraordinary sacrifice, to show his sincere attachment to him. Or it may have been that the Saviour saw that the effect of visiting his home at that time might have been to drive away all his serious impressions, and that he would return to him no more.

His impressions may not have been deep enough, and his purpose to follow the Saviour may not have been strong enough to bear the trial to which he would be subjected. Strange as it may seem, there are few scenes better suited to drive away serious impressions than those connected with a funeral. We should have supposed it would be otherwise: but facts show it to be so, and demonstrate that if this was one of the reasons which influenced the Saviour, he had a thorough knowledge of human nature. The arrangements for the funeral, the preparation of mourning apparel, and the depth of sorrow in such cases, divert the mind from its sins and its personal need of a Saviour; and hence few persons are awakened or converted as the result of death in a family. The case here was a "strong" one - it was as strong as can well be conceived; and the Saviour meant to teach by this that nothing is to be allowed to divert the mind from religion nothing to be an excuse for not following him. Not even the death of a father, and the sorrows of an afflicted family, are to be suffered to lead a man to defer religion, or to put off the purpose to be a Christian. That is a fixed duty - a duty not to be deferred or neglected, whether in sickness or health, at home or abroad whether surrounded by living and happy kindred, or whether a father, a mother, a child, or a sister lies in our house dead.

It is the "regular" duty of children to obey their parents, and to show them kindness in affliction, and to evince proper care and respect for them when dead. Nor did our Saviour show himself insensible to these duties. He taught here, however, as he always taught, that a regard to friends, and ease, and comfort, should be "subordinate to the gospel;" and that we should always be ready to sacrifice these when duty to God requires it.

Matthew 8:22 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Swift Healing and Immediate Service
'And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, He saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever. 15. And He touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose and ministered unto them.'--MATT. viii. 14-15. Other accounts give a few additional points. Mark:-- That the house was that of Peter and Andrew. That Christ went with James and John. That He was told of the sickness. That He lifted her up. Luke, physician-like, diagnoses the fever as 'great.' He also tells us that the sick woman's friends
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Peace-Bringer in the Natural World
'And when He was entered into a ship, His disciples followed Him. 24. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves; but He was asleep. 25. And His disciples came to Him, and awoke Him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. 26. And He saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man la this, that even the
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Jesus Stills the Storm.
(Sea of Galilee; Same Day as Last Section) ^A Matt. VIII. 18-27; ^B Mark IV. 35-41; ^C Luke VIII. 22-25. ^b 35 And that day, { ^c one of those days,} ^b when the even was come [about sunset], ^a when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side. { ^b he saith unto them, Let us go over unto the other side.} [Wearied with a day of strenuous toil, Jesus sought rest from the multitude by passing to the thinly settled on the east side of Galilee.] ^a 19 And there
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Jesus Heals Two Gergesene Demoniacs.
(Gergesa, Now Called Khersa.) ^A Matt. VIII. 28-34; IX. 1; ^B Mark V. 1-21; ^C Luke VIII. 26-40. ^b 1 And they came to the other side of the sea [They left in the "even," an elastic expression. If they left in the middle of the afternoon and were driven forward by the storm, they would have reached the far shore several hours before dark], ^c 26 And they arrived at the country of the Gerasenes, which is over against Galilee. ^a 28 And when he was come into the country of the Gadarenes. ^c 27 And
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Cross References
1 Kings 19:20
He left the oxen and ran after Elijah and said, "Please let me kiss my father and my mother, then I will follow you." And he said to him, "Go back again, for what have I done to you?"

Matthew 8:21
Another of the disciples said to Him, "Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father."

Matthew 9:9
As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man called Matthew, sitting in the tax collector's booth; and He said to him, "Follow Me!" And he got up and followed Him.

Mark 2:14
As He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting in the tax booth, and He said to him, "Follow Me!" And he got up and followed Him.

Luke 9:59
And He said to another, "Follow Me." But he said, "Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father."

Luke 9:60
But He said to him, "Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God."

Luke 15:24
for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.' And they began to celebrate.

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