• New Hope Church

2021_08_11 Insight Post- Rusty Coram

This week's reading- Luke 9

Jesus says something in our reading this week that is important for us to grasp. After empowering the disciples to heal and cast out demons, “Then he sent them out to tell everyone about the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 3 “Take nothing for your journey,” he instructed them. “Don’t take a walking stick, a traveler’s bag, food, money, or even a change of clothes. 4 Wherever you go, stay in the same house until you leave town. 5 And if a town refuses to welcome you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate.” Luke 9:2-5

The first thing to notice is that the fact that they were given the ability to cast out demons and heal was not the main point or focus of this passage. These abilities were to support the mission of telling and convincing people that they needed and could have a saving relationship with God. God’s interests for his kingdom should always be our first priority. The second thing to notice, is that they are to go to “everyone”, but know that not “everyone” will welcome them or their message. In places where the people deliberately refused to investigate or consider the Good News, the disciples were instructed to leave and go elsewhere. The image of shaking dust off their feet was one the Jews understood as a public statement, that those who rejected what was good and holy, were on their own in their sin. By rejecting the message of God they were stating clearly that they were choosing to live apart from Him. We need to be careful here though, because this is not an endorsement of condemning others and writing them off. It is really a deliberate call for those rejecting God, to repent. Continuing to pray for these people is important, but notice that Jesus says, not to make them the main focus but to, move on to reach others. God will still be working to get the attention of those whose hearts and minds are hardened. Like the disciples, our role is to pursue all people, but focus on those who are receptive, ready to accept Jesus, and join the movement. We should care about and pray for those who are closed and resistant, but not make them our primary audience.

Rusty Coram

Senior Pastor