"Jesus replied, 'Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.'
"Another disciple said to him, 'Lord, first let me go and bury my father.'
"But Jesus told him, 'Follow me, and let the dead bury the dead.'"
Jesus knew this man's heart. He knew that he was sincere. But He basically told him that he did not know what he was getting into. He knew that this man's zeal would wear off very fast after leaving the comforts of his own home and life.
Look at Verse 21: "Another disciple said to him, 'Lord, first let me go and bury my father.'"
Now this sounds like a reasonable enough request. I'm sure that Jesus, who cares so much about us, will agree to this. What does He say?
Look at Verse 22: "But Jesus told him, 'Follow me, and let the dead bury the dead.'"
What? Isn't that a bit cruel. Hasn't this man just lost his father? NO. It is helpful to understand the conditions and customs of the times. First off, this man would not have been listening to Jesus if his father had just died. The death of a parent held a lot of responsibility for a son. Burial had to take place very quickly. Second, this man's father was probably a healthy man out working. This was a common saying of the day. When my family responsibility is over, I'll be free to do thus and so. This man was telling Jesus that when he had nothing else to do, he would find the time to follow him. Jesus was looking for disciples who were willing to give up what ever could hold them back.
All these seem selfish in the light of the cross!
It doesn't have to be something big to keep you from fully following Jesus. I awoke one morning with a terrible pain in my eye. I had no idea why it hurt but I could not do what needed to be done that day with that kind of pain in my eye. I went to the Optometrist who spent a great deal of time examining my eye. Then she reached in with a swab and said there it is. On the end of the swab was a thread so small that I could hardly see it! Small things can cause big troubles. I'm glad that I decided to go to the specialist instead of to my neighbor, or worse, myself. I would not have liked it a bit if the person examining me had a 2x4 in her eye! That's why Jesus said in Matthew 7:3-5.. "'Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your neighbor's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.'"
We shouldn't be trying to do the work of the Great Physician on ourselves or on others. Each one of us needs to go to the Great Physician- Jesus- and let Him remove whatever it is that is holding us away from a full relationship with Him.
The book Evangelism by EG White, says that Satan delights in causing small problems. Those intent on waiting for their problems to cease on their own or those who try to take care of them on their own are the spiritually dead waiting to bury the dead that Jesus spoke of.
Jesus is coming soon! The past few sermons have been like a shout from the walls that our Master is near. It is time to be ready - TODAY! It is time to have nothing keeping us from being full disciples of Jesus.
Your baptism was symbolic of the burying of self (What ever was keeping you from Jesus). The foot washing service is like a miniature rebaptism. Another chance to put self away so that we can once again be faithful disciples of Jesus. Let's experience this now so that we can have a more complete communion with Him.
Return to McDonald Road Sermons Index
Return to McDonald Road SDA Church Home Page
McDonald Road Sermons converted to HTML and
last updated 5/10/98 by Bob Beckett.