Burying The Dead
The young man was gifted with Holsteins and the woman he loved was the adopted daughter of a successful farmer in the heart of dairy country. Then the young man met Jesus, and Jesus gave him a burden to preach. When he got up the courage to ask for the hand of the farmer’s daughter, it went worse than he could have imagined. “Young man, my daughter is not going to be the wife of a preacher. I didn’t adopt her to have her move away and be the wife of some poor preacher boy. Who’s going to take care of me in my old age? No, you don’t have my blessing!”
What do we do when the commands of a parent conflict with the commands of the Master?
“And Jesus said to another, ‘Follow me!’ But he said, ‘Lord, first allow me to go and bury my father.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Leave the dead to bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.’
And another said, ‘I will follow You Lord. But first let me return to say good-by to my family.’ Jesus replied, ‘No one who puts his hand on the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.’” Luke 9:59-62
Jesus is not saying that we shouldn’t mourn at our loved one’s funeral or tell our family good-by and give them a hug when we are going on a mission trip. He’s a good teacher and knows how to use hyperbole. But we can’t miss the point. When our LORD issues orders, His command gets top priority and we need to act.
Against the will of her father the young man declared his love, told his sweetheart he was called to be a pastor and he wanted her to be his wife. She said yes, and I’m eternally grateful. My wife is their first daughter in a family of six, and being raised in a pastor’s home meant she knew exactly how to be my ally in our church ministry.
LORD, thanks for modeling how a son takes care of his mom even as you were dying on the cross, but help me not to make excuses when You command me to go and tell others how they can become alive forever
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