Many first generation Christians in the East, pray hard for the salvation of their parents now in their 60’s and above who are steeped in idolatory, and superstition. The Christians do their best to show love, consideration. They bear the scolding and persecution of parents they may be financially dependent on, or on festival days bear it when they are ostracized from family celebrations because they will not participate in the idolatrous practices and rituals.
Some folks are determined to reject the message of Jesus. There are many reasons why this is true, but they all boil down to one truth—Satan has poisoned their hearts to the good news of God’s Kingdom in Jesus Christ. Rather than keep beating our heads against a wall that the evil one has erected in the heart of someone, God calls us to move on in our efforts to reach others.
If we are in the same family or office or neighborhood and have regular proximity to them and can’t move on, then we are called not to be personally offended but to live our faith before them and pray that our actions will demonstrate the faith we profess and win them before the day of Christ.
I am not sure I have ever had to think of shaking dust off my feet
and it makes me wonder if
(1). I have pursued people enough to risk being given the cold shoulder, or
(2). I have been pre-conditioned to accept people unconditionally without thought or respect to their response to either me or my message, or
(3). I, like many Christians, simply ignore the difficult words of Jesus. Do I read the Scriptures as if I am more interested in receiving what Jesus gives than I am obeying what Jesus says?
- if a pastor or another Christian in authority will not warmly receive me or listen to my words…”Shake the dust off your feet.”
- if a person withholds hospitality and refuses to even let me speak… “Shake the dust off your feet.”
Don’t be bothered. Don’t get angry. Don’t get even. “Shake the dust off your feet.”
The Lord is much wiser and far better equipped to hold the guilty accountable. The manner in which people receive God’s children is the manner in which He will receive them.
“If the house is worthy, give it your blessing of peace. But if it is not worthy, take back your blessing of peace. 14“Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet. ” Matthew 10:13-14
Jesus is alluding to the custom the Jews believed that even the dust of a heathen and wicked country contaminated. He is instructing them that there will come a time when they will need to “shake the dust off their feet” in their desire to communicate with others.
By this act,
– they testify that the very dust they shake off their feet will rise up in judgment against those who reject them . Jews often shook the dust from their feet to show their separation from Gentile practices.
– they declare that the disciples had journeyed to them, the good news of God’s grace has been proclaimed among them, and they had refused it,
– they have rejected both the messenger and the message, It would show separation from Jews who rejected the Messiah.
– and as a result, will find their condemnation.” The gesture was to show the people that they were making a wrong choice .The opportunity to choose Christ might not present itself again
Are you in a situation when you should be moving on rather than staying? You could be depriving one so hungry for the gospel, yet have no one to tell them the good news.
Father, please give me wisdom to know the best way to share the message of Jesus with all those that I know who are not yet Christians. Father, I recognize that only you can break down the barriers Satan erects in the hearts of those who reject your message. Help me know when it is best to move on and leave that work to you. In the lives of those near and dear to me, please use my daily faithfulness as one of the influences used to win their hearts for Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.