Luke chapter 9 finishes with Christ instructing on exactly the cost of being his disciple. We are told that the cost of discipleship is to forsake desires of self for the cause of the Kingdom.A man approaches Christ and says he wants to follow him, but first he needs to bury his father. He is told by Christ to let the “dead bury the dead”. This can appear stunning to those not familiar with the cultural time in which Jesus lived. However, the statement is far more stunning to someone who has researched the culture of 1st century Israel.
It was the duty of a son to see that his parents were properly buried. It was viewed as the ultimate fulfillment of honoring mother and father. The process could take months and require multiple grave sites. However, no matter what, it was imperative an individual see to the final affairs of their parents.
Therefore, what Christ was indicating was it was more important to honor the heavenly father by proclaiming the Gospel. One must be willing to forsake everything for Christ. Luke 9 draws to a close with this verse ” But Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62). What this means is a person cannot serve God if they are still holding on to the old. One cannot be a new creation but yet operate in old ways. The plow could represent a legalistic approach “Law”, but now that Christ has came a new covenant is now in place.