Then He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.” [The New King James Version. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), Lk 9:59–60.]
I have been asked many times about this passage. Most people are concerned that Jesus apparently did not allow this man to bury his father. The people who interpret the Scripture in this manner may be overlooking the fact that if this man's father was already dead, then he would have already been involved in the burial process. This passage is better interpreted that the man's father was not already dead and thus he preferred to wait until his father passed before committing.
It is interesting that Jesus used the same words ("Follow Me") to call this man to follow Him as He did His disciples. To compare the disciples response, this man was not willing to leave on Jesus' terms but rather his own terms. Jesus' reply illustrated that his response was not acceptable.
The priority placed on the message of the kingdom is apparent. Jesus is calling people to be radically changed followers committing themselves to His will. Is our commitment pleasing to Christ or do we have other commitments that take priority?