Robert Belanger (14 July 2011)
"Let the Dead Bury Their Dead"

 Dear Doves,
Today I am thinking about Jesus' statement: "Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead." Matt. 8:22 Of course, the reference is to the persons who are spiritually dead burying their physically dead. We should focus our limited time and energy in following Jesus, rather than worrying about the spiritually dead. Yes, we are so very sorry they cannot accept Jesus as Saviour and Lord, but what can we do except pray. We should not be discouraged in our Christian walk.
I recently had the realization that I am truly a living spirit, residing in a temporary physical body. It sounds obvious, but it is not when the realization hits you as a profound reality. We are not living some kind of dream. This is as real as anything can be. It is so important for we as humans to understand and to act responsibly for the entire soul and body and spirit that we have been given.

Those who are spiritually dead are all around us, and we were one of them at one time. They act like they are blind to spiritual truth and scoff at the idea that they are lost sinners. It is of course a serious matter, since the eternal destination of their spirit/soul and glorified body is at stake. There is nothing we can do to change the situation, except pray. The Holy Spirit must be the change agent in the situation, or at least the instigator of the change that will change the spiritually dead into the spiritually alive.

I thought of an example of the type of situation that Jesus was referring to in modern terminology and metaphor. Suppose there is a commercial jet airplane at the terminal and the passengers are boarding. The pilot enters the plane, the doors shut and the plane taxis and takes off for its destination. It is so familiar to all of us that it needs no further description. It is as familiar to us in the modern world as the stage coach and horses were to our predecessors.
Before loading passengers, the plane is pushed around to get fueled and take on baggage. Then it is rolled into position to accept the passengers. Until the passengers and crew board the plane it is able to move around but hardly with the potential it will have as an airplane. It is more like a truck. However, the plane is not truly alive until the pilot is on board, the passengers are loaded and the engines are turned on to send the plane down the runway and up into the air.
The plane without the pilot is like a human being at birth, hardly living at the full potential and promise of being human. When the pilot enters can be compared to being born again, the pilot representing the living spirit we receive as the Holy Spirit comes into our dead spiritual being. To live with a dead spirit is to live at less than we were designed to be. It is probably an insult to the Designer who made us to be part of His family.
The passengers are like the physical body. I suppose the soul is like the copilot and flight engineer, learning under the pilot. The attendants (previously known as stewardesses) would be like other components of the soul, the emotions and other managers of the central nervous system in direct control of the bodily functions and movements.
Somehow, to a passenger, the plane seems incomplete and lifeless until the pilot arrives and enters the cockpit to take charge of the flight and assume responsibility for the completion of the flight to it's destination. In a like manner, a human being is incomplete and spiritually lifeless until accepting Jesus into his/her heart as Lord and Saviour. Then the flight of the spirit and soul can take off with rapture/transformation to heaven as the eventual destination.

Like the airplane pilot we need to be briefed before taking off. We need to know the state of the plane and engines, the fuel, and weather at the destination and everywhere in-between. Of course we will also be aware that our flight will be aided by many in the control towers, other planes in flight and supervisors on the ground.
Our briefing is given by the Bible, and the teachers who have worked to know what the meaning of God's Word is at every level of understanding. Our Supervisor is on the ground and in the heavens. As pilots, we need to stay secure and safe. The cockpit door must be locked and our pistol must be at the ready in case of trouble. Likewise, we need to have our protection as Christians always present as described in Ephesians 6:12-18, knowing that our strength and protection are invincible.