Let the dead bury their own dead – part 2

Your commitment to Jesus Christ must be total, absolute and universal. When Jesus said to let the dead bury their own dead, he was instructing all his followers to give absolute and total commitment to him and forsake all other personal loyalties that would try to interfere with this prime commitment.

This article is only for reflection and discussion purposes. Before you embark on any decision to change your personal loyalties, please consult a trained Christian counselor. There can be dire consequences if you don't.

Let the dead bury their own dead Part 1

Parental allegiance

If (after you have grown up and become an adult) your mother or father asks things of you that contradict your loyalty and devotion to Jesus Christ, you must decline. When having to decide between good and good, the answer always must side with Jesus. Often people try to manipulate you through past commitments and loyalties that you made prior to your commitment to Jesus.

This example from Jesus’ own words of a son’s personal loyalties to his father to look after him and support him in his later years was not meant to cause harm, but was meant to describe the totality of devotion that true discipleship entails.

Luke 9:57-60 New International Version (NIV)

57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”

58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

59 He said to another man, “Follow me.”

But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”

60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”


And don’t forget your responsibility to support family members as part of your commitment to Jesus. Jesus holds everyone to the word of God and especially the religious leaders.

Mark 7:9-13 King James Version (KJV)

9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

10 For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:

11 But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free.

12 And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother;

13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

Corban means to bequeath your estate to the temple/church. Jesus is saying that the religious leaders were dispensing something like indulgences so that a person was not required to help his family members and parents as the Bible instructs.


As you mature in Christ, you will gradually become your own person and become individuated. Becoming yourself requires that you separate yourself from some of the childhood influences that formed you. Often it requires moving away a great distance to avoid being pulled back into old habits and the expectations of others.

Inner vows

Vows of all kinds are made every day. Inner vows are secret and usually represent some lesson or experience that caused trauma.

For example, a nine-year-old boy got angry and hurt a little girl that he liked. He vowed inwardly never to get angry again. In order to control anger, he also had to suppress all other emotions. Many years later he realized this inner vow was taking precedence over his commitment to Christ. So he formally repented of this inner vow and began the process of healing and restoration.

Rite of passage

Marriage and other formal rite-of-passage ceremonies usually include oaths and promises that hold powerful influence in a person’s life. If you have made a public vow before you were aware that it might take precedence over your commitment to Christ, Christ is ready to restore you to a proper relationship with your commitments. There are also biblical instructions of what to do in some relationships.

Blood brother / bff

Children often role play as pirates and other adventurers and sometimes swear an oath of loyalty to each other. I personally pricked a finger to draw blood and shook hands with my friend. Should your friend grow up and become antagonistic to your commitment to Christ, you must release that friendship for the sake of your personal loyalties to Jesus.

Other personal loyalties

There are many types of personal loyalties that could be listed. But each of us must decide for ourselves which loyalties are important in our lives. Each time you find that a personal loyalty interferes with your walk with Jesus, you need to ask and pray for guidance so that you can grow and your relationship with Jesus can mature.