AN ANTI-MISSIONARY SUGGESTED “Jesus” was wrong in commanding a disciple to “let the dead bury the dead.” The anti-missionary went on to say: “It’s downright disrespectful directing him to break the command regarding burial within 24 hours. Ignore Jesus!” A second anti-missionary chimed in: “I think it's ridiculous to think that a man's father just died and he was wandering around the city listening to a preacher. It should be obvious that he wanted to wait until his father had aged and passed on. Jews, especially, bury their dead immediately, typically the very next day after they die.”
OUR RESPONSE: If only these people knew Scripture in context, they would have realized “let the dead bury the dead” was NOT instructing dead people to bury anyone, nor was it breaking any Torah command – nor did Y’shua suggest the man couldn’t MOURN his dead or dying father! Let’s take a look at this issue:
Matthew 8: 21. And another from his disciples said to him, “My master, allow me to first go bury my father.” 22. But Y’shua said to him, Come follow me and leave the dead to bury their dead. (AENT)
In the middle of a busy “teaching frenzy” (read all of Matthew 8), Y’shua was referring to the SPIRITUALLY dead – those who didn’t know YHWH and were mired in man-made traditions and ideology. Y’shua never said the man couldn’t mourn his father, but suggested that other family members (who were still "spiritually dead") could take care of and/or bury him because this "enlightened" disciple had more important things to accomplish!