In Matthew Chapter 8, we read:
18 When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. 19 Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”
20 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
21 Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
22 But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”
Honestly, it seems kind of harsh, doesn’t it? Just leave the dead body and follow Jesus? Then I came across a passage in the old testament, dealing with Joseph and his Father Jacob, whose name God changed to Israel.
Genesis Chapter 50:
4 Now when the days of his mourning were past, Joseph spoke to the household of Pharaoh, saying, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, please speak in the hearing of Pharaoh, saying, 5 ‘My father made me swear, saying, “Behold, I am dying; in my grave which I dug for myself in the land of Canaan, there you shall bury me.” Now therefore, please let me go up and bury my father, and I will come back.’”
6 And Pharaoh said, “Go up and bury your father, as he made you swear.”
7 So Joseph went up to bury his father; and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt, 8 as well as all the house of Joseph, his brothers, and his father’s house. Only their little ones, their flocks, and their herds they left in the land of Goshen. 9 And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen, and it was a very great gathering.
Jacob died, and Joseph wanted to keep his promise to bury Jacob’s bones in Canaan, rather than Egypt. Joseph asked, “Please let me go bury my father.”
The Pharaoh agreed, and not only that, sent his servants, elders of Egypt, and Joseph’s whole family to go and bury Jacob. It was a huge funeral procession.
So what was Jesus really saying? That one greater than Jacob had come to visit mankind.