A Closer Look
Some of the hard teachings of Jesus are ones you ought to digest in the same manner you eat a hard candy. Unlike chocolate that melts in your mouth, the hard candy you have to suck on.
In Luke 9:62 Jesus invites a man to follow him as his disciple, but the man accepts the invitation with a caveat. He must first go and bury his father. Our Lord refutes and says, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the Kingdom of God.”
To most of us this would seem like a reasonable request as it was for Elijah’s protege Elisha to bid farewell to his parents before leaving to apprentice as prophet. Yet, these two scenarios are different. In Jewish culture, burial had two phases. The first was to bury the body, and the second was to come back a year later, collect the bones and place them with those of their deceased ancestors.
The minutiae of this process wouldn’t be time-consuming, but to Jesus it would be counterproductive for how it would take his attention away from the mission of the Kingdom. Following Jesus takes concentration. You could say, distraction is the antithesis of discipleship.