“Analysis of Matthew 18:22,” by Andrew J. Schatkin
Ladies and gentlemen, all you who have the desire for truth and honest discernment, reject media deception and falsehoods, and turn away from misleading political code words and slogans, please join with me in another intellectual journey taking together the road and quest for truth and facts and opening our minds to true thought and critical thinking so making the discovery of what can inform us truly of what present events mean and where we are going where we can go.
My dear readers and thinkers, fellow fact finders let us take a look at a series of the more radical sayings of Christ, and seek an understanding of his words the words of the eternal god as he speaks to us in holy scripture and from the mansions of heaven and from the realms of eternity.
Let us review and understand Jesus’s words in Matthew 8:18-22, where he says, “Now when Jesus saw great crowds around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side and a scribe came up and said to him, ‘Teacher I will follow you wherever you go.’ and Jesus said to him, ‘foxes have holds and the birds of the air have nests, but the son of man has nowhere to lay his head.’ Another of the disciples said to him, ‘lord’ let me first go and bury my father,’ but Jesus said to him, ‘follow me and leave the dead to bury their dead.”
What are we to make of these extremely disturbing and radical series of sayings where Jesus says like the foxes and birds he has no place to lay his head and tells a disciple if he wishes to follow him he cannot even pause to buy his father?
There is a parallel found in in Kings 19:19-21, where Elijah calls Elisha to be a prophet and Elisha burns his yokes, his secular means of support. Where Jesus refers to foxes having holes and birds having nests, he refers to his unsettled and risky way of life and itinerant way of life his disciples and in fact all Christians can expect no better from the world. Christians are a scandal to the world and can expect the treatment Jesus refers to here neither more nor less than rejection and outright persecution.
Finally, the words in response to the man who wishes to stop to bury his father and Jesus’s response that following him takes precedence even over this critical life event of the death of a parent does not take precedence on following Christ. In this teaching, which is a powerful radical and eschatological teaching, Jesus makes clear that discipleship to Jesus far exceeds everything and is the number one priority. We Christians are taught here that for us in the world Jesus is and must be first above all and in following him we are told to give up and let nothing take precedence. We must take the risk he describes having no place to live or lay our heads like the foxes and the birds and nothing, not even the death of a parent, can be allowed to stand in the way of our following Christ and our total life commitment to Christ.
Ladies and gentlemen, this ends my little analysis and attempt at comprehending and applying these most radical words of Christ and these most demanding and challenging series of sayings. I do hope and trust I have provided some enlightenment and understanding of these verses and urge you to go back to the biblical text which my poor words and thoughts and, if you will, speculation, are no substitute for. Seek his word and you will find the truth and answer you are looking for.