"Let The Dead Bury Their Dead"

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Last Updated on May 24, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 191

Context: Jesus, after teaching in the Sermon on the Mount that He has come to fulfill the old law, continues his ministry. He cures a leper and tells him to say nothing of the matter; He heals the paralytic servant of a Gentile centurion, who fears that Jesus may not care to associate with him; and by the touch of His hand, He causes a fever to leave the mother-in-law of Peter. On the way to Jerusalem, when a great crowd surrounds Him and a scribe declares his intention of following Him, Jesus says that He has no home. Another follower begs leave, before going with Jesus, to be allowed to bury his father, a task so important that it exempts one from prayers. Rebuking the man and stressing the urgency of His work, Jesus explains that those who are not concerned with the Kingdom of Heaven are already dead, and that they alone should carry out family duties:

And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.

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