“Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead.”Jesus’ reply to the scribe, the teacher of the law, and to the disciple brings to the fore the nature of following him. Fol- lowing him is characterized by surrender, urgency and priority. To the scribe, Jesus’ response is a challenge to give up those things that provide him comfort and security. And to the disciple, Jesus’ response is a question of priority. It would seem Jesus is insensitive and unsympathetic to the situation of the disciple. But the point of Jesus’ response is that priority needs to be ac- corded to the demands of fol- lowing him and that it needs to be taken as urgent.The demands of the reign of God and of Jesus’ call to follow him are definite and urgent. In the mind of Jesus they take pre- cedence over other things we may consider important. They put us into situations where it is necessary and essential to give up something and take radical action. These giving up and ta- king action cannot be delayed to a future time because Jesus’ call is in the ‘now’.
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