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daughter
Oct 14th 2008, 12:51 PM
You know the story about the man who said he would follow Christ, but he had to bury his father first? Something dawned on me. There is no way the man's father was even dead when he said that to Christ. Perhaps his father was elderly, perhaps his father was ill, but he wasn't dead. He wasn't the only son either, or he'd not have been worried about his inheritance... which means there was someone else to look after him. So, if his father was dead, and not yet buried, he'd have been sitting shiva for him, surely, according to the laws of Moses?

The story takes on a new complexion, when you look at it from this point of view. Someone comes up to Jesus and says, "look, I'll follow you when my life is sorted out, when I've secured my inheritance and sorted out my business... I'll be your disciple when it is a suitable time for me."

All of a sudden the reply "let the dead bury their dead" doesn't seem so harsh, does it? This is a man who's burying himself in busyness and the day to day "stuff." He's already dead, surely.

There is one other occasion in the New Testament when a family are sitting Shiva. Mary and Martha are on the fourth day after Lazarus' death when Jesus arrives. Here's the great thing, overlooked a lot I think. You know we talk about a "Mary Spirit" or a "Martha Spirit", as though Mary was the spiritual one, but Martha was less spiritually attuned? It's Martha who runs out to meet Jesus, and who confesses her faith in Him. Even though she was ritually unclean, still in her mourning, she knew absolutely that she could go to Jesus, in all of her uncleaness, and He would weep with her... and He did far more than that.

What do you think?

ananias
Oct 14th 2008, 01:43 PM
One small example of how the church being torn away from its Hebrew roots because of a prejudice against anything "Jewish" prevents deeper understanding or fuller understanding of the Word of God and keeps things safely on the surface

ananias

kbm0329
Oct 14th 2008, 05:36 PM
I recently heard this teaching. I never understood that passage growing up. I'd say, "So, I guess his father just died?" because I had the preconceived notion he wanted to follow him soon.

When I look at it from the view you brought up it brings the whole verse in line with the rest of the Bible. This passage presents such a clear picture of what Jesus expects of us, IMO.

HisLeast
Oct 14th 2008, 05:49 PM
What do you think?

:help:
What does "sitting Shiva" mean?

flybaby
Oct 14th 2008, 06:07 PM
what great insight. I really appreciate you showing that to us. I never really understand that before.

Emanate
Oct 14th 2008, 06:14 PM
:help:
What does "sitting Shiva" mean?


It is the traditional period of mourning a death.

crawfish
Oct 14th 2008, 06:42 PM
You know the story about the man who said he would follow Christ, but he had to bury his father first? Something dawned on me. There is no way the man's father was even dead when he said that to Christ. Perhaps his father was elderly, perhaps his father was ill, but he wasn't dead. He wasn't the only son either, or he'd not have been worried about his inheritance... which means there was someone else to look after him. So, if his father was dead, and not yet buried, he'd have been sitting shiva for him, surely, according to the laws of Moses?

The story takes on a new complexion, when you look at it from this point of view. Someone comes up to Jesus and says, "look, I'll follow you when my life is sorted out, when I've secured my inheritance and sorted out my business... I'll be your disciple when it is a suitable time for me."

I heard a study on this not too long ago, and I think you're absolutely right.

That also causes a re-evaluation of what "let the dead bury the dead" means as well. It's not referring to the actual burying of his father, it is saying "let those concerned with this physical life worry about themselves". If you are to put on Christ and follow him, your goal is the spiritual and not the material.

Toymom
Oct 14th 2008, 07:31 PM
I am not sure why you would think the man was worried about his inheritance or why you would think his father was not dead.
I don't see anything about inheritance in those verses.
Jewish people bury their dead within the first 24 hours of their death.
If the man's father had recently died, this man could have gone out to tell other relatives or to get materials for a coffin or something couldn't he have?
Sitting shiva is after the burial and this man said his father had not yet been burried.

The first one that spoke to Jesus was the scribe in verse 19, an educated man, who offered to follow the Lord and the Lord's reply indicated that His kingdom was spiritual and not material.
The Lord's reply to the 2nd man - was positive. He said "follow Me". He did not tell the scribe to follow Him. Let the dead bury their dead refered to the spiritually dead burrying the physically dead. Perhaps it was a burden for the man to bury his father and Jesus was telling him he did not have to.

I don't really know, but I don't see anything about inheritance in the verses at all nor anything to indicate that the father was not really dead.

daughter
Oct 14th 2008, 07:52 PM
Yes, they do bury their dead within 24 hours. There is also a mourning period of seven days (shiva) in the house, mourning the dead.

If the father was already dead and buried, the young man wouldn't be talking about the funeral being a future event. So, the father wasn't buried. He wasn't dead either, because if he were recently dead (less than 24 hours) his son wouldn't have been out running after a rabbi. Unless he wanted to ask Jesus to resurrect his father.

So the man was neither dead nor buried. He was merely old.

Tbone
Oct 17th 2008, 03:01 PM
You know the story about the man who said he would follow Christ, but he had to bury his father first? Something dawned on me. There is no way the man's father was even dead when he said that to Christ. Perhaps his father was elderly, perhaps his father was ill, but he wasn't dead. He wasn't the only son either, or he'd not have been worried about his inheritance... which means there was someone else to look after him. So, if his father was dead, and not yet buried, he'd have been sitting shiva for him, surely, according to the laws of Moses?

The story takes on a new complexion, when you look at it from this point of view. Someone comes up to Jesus and says, "look, I'll follow you when my life is sorted out, when I've secured my inheritance and sorted out my business... I'll be your disciple when it is a suitable time for me."

All of a sudden the reply "let the dead bury their dead" doesn't seem so harsh, does it? This is a man who's burying himself in busyness and the day to day "stuff." He's already dead, surely.

Thank you for your insight into this Scripture. It does open up new understanding and meaning.

Sold Out
Oct 17th 2008, 10:26 PM
You know the story about the man who said he would follow Christ, but he had to bury his father first? Something dawned on me. There is no way the man's father was even dead when he said that to Christ. Perhaps his father was elderly, perhaps his father was ill, but he wasn't dead. He wasn't the only son either, or he'd not have been worried about his inheritance... which means there was someone else to look after him. So, if his father was dead, and not yet buried, he'd have been sitting shiva for him, surely, according to the laws of Moses?

The story takes on a new complexion, when you look at it from this point of view. Someone comes up to Jesus and says, "look, I'll follow you when my life is sorted out, when I've secured my inheritance and sorted out my business... I'll be your disciple when it is a suitable time for me."

All of a sudden the reply "let the dead bury their dead" doesn't seem so harsh, does it? This is a man who's burying himself in busyness and the day to day "stuff." He's already dead, surely.

There is one other occasion in the New Testament when a family are sitting Shiva. Mary and Martha are on the fourth day after Lazarus' death when Jesus arrives. Here's the great thing, overlooked a lot I think. You know we talk about a "Mary Spirit" or a "Martha Spirit", as though Mary was the spiritual one, but Martha was less spiritually attuned? It's Martha who runs out to meet Jesus, and who confesses her faith in Him. Even though she was ritually unclean, still in her mourning, she knew absolutely that she could go to Jesus, in all of her uncleaness, and He would weep with her... and He did far more than that.

What do you think?

Excellent observations. Thanks for posting!

My heart's Desire
Oct 18th 2008, 03:23 AM
I've never heard that before myself. Thanks!

BHS
Oct 19th 2008, 11:06 AM
I agree that the spiritual message is one of spiritual priority. However, I am not sure that the father was not already dead. This is one explanation I have heard -- that the father had passed. During the 1st century, the body was placed in a tomb and allowed to decompose. After about a year, the bones were then put into a small stone box called a "sarcophagus". I think it is likely that the burial in this passage is referring to the transfer of his father's bones to the sarcophagus. If this is the case, it would seem that the "burial" was more of an excuse as it could wait and it would not have been so imperative that it take place immediately. :hug:

Blessings,
BHS

9Marksfan
Oct 21st 2008, 09:40 AM
You know the story about the man who said he would follow Christ, but he had to bury his father first? Something dawned on me. There is no way the man's father was even dead when he said that to Christ. Perhaps his father was elderly, perhaps his father was ill, but he wasn't dead. He wasn't the only son either, or he'd not have been worried about his inheritance... which means there was someone else to look after him. So, if his father was dead, and not yet buried, he'd have been sitting shiva for him, surely, according to the laws of Moses?

The story takes on a new complexion, when you look at it from this point of view. Someone comes up to Jesus and says, "look, I'll follow you when my life is sorted out, when I've secured my inheritance and sorted out my business... I'll be your disciple when it is a suitable time for me."

All of a sudden the reply "let the dead bury their dead" doesn't seem so harsh, does it? This is a man who's burying himself in busyness and the day to day "stuff." He's already dead, surely.

Yes, I agree, Mary. If the man's objection is to be taken literally, even with BHS's view, it just has so little practical application to us and Jesus' response does seem a bit harsh. Because of the emphasis in Luke on prioritising spiritual over material wealth, I think your interpretation makes much more sense and is to be preferred. I did hear that preached on over 20 years ago but had forgotten it - thanks for reminding me. :)


There is one other occasion in the New Testament when a family are sitting Shiva. Mary and Martha are on the fourth day after Lazarus' death when Jesus arrives. Here's the great thing, overlooked a lot I think. You know we talk about a "Mary Spirit" or a "Martha Spirit", as though Mary was the spiritual one, but Martha was less spiritually attuned?

At the time when Jesus came for dinner, I think that was the state of things - but Martha grew as a result of Jesus' gentle rebuke.....


It's Martha who runs out to meet Jesus, and who confesses her faith in Him. Even though she was ritually unclean, still in her mourning, she knew absolutely that she could go to Jesus, in all of her uncleaness, and He would weep with her... and He did far more than that.

I'd never realised that she would have been ritually unclean - thanks for that insight - religion should never keep us from Jesus!


What do you think?

Excellent points!

Emanate
Oct 22nd 2008, 01:37 AM
I'd never realised that she would have been ritually unclean - thanks for that insight - religion should never keep us from Jesus!


Not only this, but her actions would have made Messiah Y'shua unclean as well.

Bethany67
Oct 22nd 2008, 02:17 AM
Not only this, but her actions would have made Messiah Y'shua unclean as well.

Like the woman in Mark 5 with the bleeding who touched his cloak. That part always gets to me; she would have had no physical contact from anyone for 12 years (based on the restrictions in Lev 15), no sharing a bed with her husband if she was married, no hugs, no kisses, no gentle hand on the shoulder. An Orthodox Jewish friend told me a man won't even take an object directly from a menstruating woman; it will be placed on a table, for example, and he will pick it up from there.

She'd spent all her money on doctors, only to find the problem getting worse. I suspect she may have been in great pain with it, if she had something like endometriosis, and was probably weak and exhausted from anemia too. It must've been so lonely and isolating for her. What an incredibly brave thing she did out of faith, and yet she trembled with fear at the same time because of the huge stigma surrounding her touching someone else, especially a rabbi.

Emanate
Oct 22nd 2008, 03:26 AM
Like the woman in Mark 5 with the bleeding who touched his cloak. That part always gets to me; she would have had no physical contact from anyone for 12 years (based on the restrictions in Lev 15), no sharing a bed with her husband if she was married, no hugs, no kisses, no gentle hand on the shoulder. An Orthodox Jewish friend told me a man won't even take an object directly from a menstruating woman; it will be placed on a table, for example, and he will pick it up from there.

She'd spent all her money on doctors, only to find the problem getting worse. I suspect she may have been in great pain with it, if she had something like endometriosis, and was probably weak and exhausted from anemia too. It must've been so lonely and isolating for her. What an incredibly brave thing she did out of faith, and yet she trembled with fear at the same time because of the huge stigma surrounding her touching someone else, especially a rabbi.


are you aware that she also fulfilled a prophecy when she touched his tzitzit?

Bethany67
Oct 22nd 2008, 08:46 AM
Not off the top of my head - which prophecy please?

Emanate
Oct 22nd 2008, 02:25 PM
Not off the top of my head - which prophecy please?

I will post it on the board as Healing Wings

Mograce2U
Oct 22nd 2008, 02:42 PM
I wonder if the context for why Jesus says this is not related to what He first said to the scribe who expressed a desire to follow Him.

(Mat 8:19-20) And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. {20} And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.

Jesus is saying to him that as the Son of Man, He has no burial place in the earth - or perhaps specifically in Israel. Which reminds me of the story in Gen 23 where Abraham buys a cave in a field in Hebron to bury Sarah. Jesus is the Seed of Abraham that Israel was waiting for. Also just before this in Mat 8:17, Isa 53:4 is quoted to point us to a messianic prophecy which is about His death.

So now when Jesus turns from the scribe to one of His own disciples and calls him to "Follow Me", we see that burying the dead is the subject the disciple picked up on in his response. A response which points to his familial obligation to his own father according to law. But Luke 9:60 adds a bit to what Jesus said to him - pointing him to the kingdom of God:

(Luke 9:60) Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.

And Luke also adds another disciple's response to make his point:

(Luke 9:61-62) And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. {62} And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

Matthew only shows them getting into a boat, but Luke speaks about the appointing of the 70 and their commission to go and preach the kingdom of God.

So I think the focus we are to see in these two passages is that whereas Abraham had secured a burial place in the land for his descendants to wait until the kingdom of God arrived; Jesus is now pointing out that this time of waiting is over. And the dead who must bury their own dead are those who are not fit for this kingdom which hope was to bring in the resurrection of the dead.

And this is also what Jesus pointed out to Martha when she came out to meet Him.

(John 11:21-27) Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. {22} But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. {23} Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. {24} Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. {25} Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: {26} And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? {27} She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

Martha clearly expected that the arrival of Messiah and the promised resurrection would be when the kingdom of God arrived. And then Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead to confirm that this was what He had come to do.