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
CommentaryBarnes' 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.
LibrarySwift 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
Jesus Stills the Storm.
Jesus Heals Two Gergesene Demoniacs.
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?"
Another of the disciples said to Him, "Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father."
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.
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.
And He said to another, "Follow Me." But he said, "Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father."
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."
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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