The language employed by Christ (Matt 8:22) on the occasion in question is to be accepted figuratively, as in many other instances of his teachings. He was speaking of the characteristics of true discipleship, and particularly referred to those who permitted themselves to become so entangled in worldly affairs, that they persistently procrastinated in spiritual things. To these, Jesus showed that all other claims were inferior to the divine claim upon their energies and the paramount command to "preach the kingdom of God." These should take precedence even of the highest claims of nature. While immortal souls are in peril, the true disciple must not hesitate, but must go even at the sacrifice of all he holds dear. Those who remain, being dead to the spiritual call, may well be relied upon to fulfill all needful natural duties to the dead or the dying among themselves. The disciple's duty is to obey the call, leaving the consequences with God.