Jesus gives two warnings to his would-be followers: ". . .the Son of Man has no where to rest his head" (20) and ". . .let the dead bury their dead" (22). Following Jesus meant living a nomadic existence, moving from place to place while relying on the generosity of others. The misinformed scribe and disciple are not fully aware of what it means to follow Christ. Healing and preaching the Good News does not consist of one moment in ministry and the other moment returning to a permanent home. And serving Christ and neighbor does not include living in one's past, looking back to the old way of living and fulfilling obligations.
Following Jesus means making him the priority in all things. We must get past our old ways of thinking and living before conversion, focusing on our new lives in Christ. Loyalty to Jesus must take first priority, even before family obligations. Does this mean that in following Christ we ignore family obligations? No. Being a disciple means that although Jesus comes first, we must fulfill our family obligations as well. But we do it all with the mind and heart of Christ. We have died to our old selves and have been reborn in Christ (Romans 6:6). Therefore, everything we do -- living, loving, day-to-day functioning, and working -- is now done in the spiritually-alive life Jesus has given us. Our past selves no longer exist; we are new creations in Christ.