20Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."
21Another disciple said to him, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father."
22But Jesus told him, "Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead."
Okay, in this passage of scripture, what can we say other than Jesus is Fuc$#@ng nuts! He's putting on a high-pressure sales tactic here -- he won't even wait for someone to go and bury his father. He's urging the disciple to abandon his family during a time of need and go follow him. The scripture doesn't say what happened next, but let's hope the disciple had the good sense to walk away and get the help of a qualified deprogrammer.
Some Christians will go out of their way to spin this passage so it doesn't sound so egregious. They'll try to say that perhaps the man's father was just elderly and not yet dead so "let me go and bury my father," was sort of metaphorical ("let me be with Dad until the end"). Some other Christians offer the explanation that there was an initial form of ancient Hebrew burial that took a year, which was followed by exhumation of the body and re-interment in a different place, and that perhaps the disciple was asking to wait for a whole year which would have, of course, been just too onerous.
What amazes me is how Christians will bend over backwards to explain this sort of passage, contextualizing it, etc. -- but will often refuse to contextualize other passages (such as the creation story).
Everything about scripture is supposed to be taken literally except for the theology!
Applying Occam's Razor to this filthy beard of faith, I think we can find that the simplest explanation is that Jesus really did ask the guy to abandon his dad's funeral. He was just that fanatical!
Let's hope that passages like these (and, oh, there are lots more where that came from) will put a stop to musings that Jesus was a "good moral teacher" or anything like that. He did have a few (unoriginal) ethical insights, but the more I get to know him, the more he creeps me out.
The historical Jesus (if there is one) is just the start of a continuum that ends with Jonestown.