The Life and Teachings
of Jesus
A Restatement of the Gospels

79. The Requirements of Ordination

        57As they were going along the road, a man said to Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
        58And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
        59But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”
        60But Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their dead;a but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”b
        61Another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.”
        62Jesus said to him, “No man, having put his hand to the plow, if he turns back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”c
        16And behold, one came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?”
        19And Jesus said: “You know the commandments: do not kill, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false witness, do not defraud, and honor your father and mother.”
        20The young man said to him, “All these things I have observed, what do I still lack?”
        21Jesus said to him, “If you wish to go the whole way,d go, sell what you possess and give to the poor; come and follow me, and you shall have treasure in heaven.”
        22When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
        (Lk. 9:57–62; Mt. 19:16; Mk. 10:19; Mt. 19:20–22)

a   “Leave the dead to bury their dead”—As an ordained minister of the gospel, go forth proclaiming the kingdom of God and leave others to attend to the affairs of this world (bury the dead).

b   “go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”—Here again is revealed Jesus' central concept—the kingdom of God. He came to establish this kingdom on earth and ordained his followers to proclaim this kingdom to the world.
   What is Jesus' kingdom? It is the will of God dominant and transcendent in the heart of the believer. We may enter this kingdom by believing Jesus' gospel that we are all children of God and choosing to abide by our Father's will.

c   “fit for the kingdom of God.”—Fit to be an ordained messenger of the kingdom.

d   “If you wish to go the whole way”—If you wish to be not merely a disciple, but an ordained minister of the kingdom.

Lk. 9:57   to Jesus, “I / to him, “I (RSV)
Lk. 9:60   their dead. / their own dead. (RSV)
Lk. 9:62   No man, having put his (KJV) / No one who puts his (RSV) • plow, if he turns back / plow, and turns back (RSV)
Mk. 10:19  defraud, and honor / defraud, honor (RSV)
Mt. 19:21  you wish to go the whole way, go, (NEB) / you would be perfect, go, (RSV) • poor; come and follow me, and you shall have treasure in heaven.” / poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come follow me.” (RSV)   (163:2/1801–3)