This teaching is also found in Luke's gospel where it expands upon V22 and includes a third candidate for salvation in addition to the two men recorded here (CP Lu 9:57-62). Jesus is testing those who would follow Him in these passages. There are three seemingly sincere candidates for salvation here, but all failed to measure up to the standards Jesus has set for His followers. Jesus is teaching us that anything less than total commitment to God eliminates one from the future eternal kingdom. The first incident teaches that an emotional enthusiasm that has not considered the cost of abandoning material security to follow Him is insufficient by Christ's standards. The second teaches that loyalty to Christ must take precedence over all other loyalties - following after Christ must be our highest priority. Jesus is not being insensitive to the propriety of funerals here, but is teaching against putting off the work of God "...but go thou and preach the kingdom of God" (CP Lu 9:60). Followers of Christ have the urgent task of proclaiming the life that is in Him to them that are lost. This is more important work than burying spiritually dead people who have physically died. Jesus said let their own spiritually dead bury them. The third incident, which is only recorded by Luke, teaches that once we start in God's service we cannot turn away. Service to God commands our undivided attention, and if we are not prepared to singlemindedly serve God, then we will forfeit our place in His kingdom.
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