17th June 2020
Yesterday I asked the question 'What do you want me to do, God?'
And came up with the answer that he wants us to be in loving fellowship with him;
we could say 'to love him with
'all your heart and all your soul and with all your strength,' (Deut. 6:5);
to love others and to spread his message.
That is proclaiming the good news that,
through belief in the death and resurrection of Christ,
we are saved, to all we come into contact with.
If we read Matthew 10:11-14 carefully
we see Jesus told his disciples to do this very thing,
we can also see that there are constraints.
11 Whatever town or village you enter,
search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave.
12 As you enter the home, give it your greeting.
13 If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it;
if it is not, let your peace return to you.
14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words,
leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.
First it says we have to find a 'worthy' person,
we are to be discerning and sensitive as we share the message.
We are not told to lecture or scold those who do not agree
or argue until they do agree with us.
We are not to force the message on them;
instead the onus is on them to show they are receptive,
we don't have to prove that Christ is worthy.
Many will reject the message but this is not our problem, it is theirs.
If they reject the message it is not a necessarily a reflection on us.
Who knows, although they may seem to have rejected the message
the seed may have been planted,
maybe in years ahead the Holy Spirit may cause that seed to grow into beautiful fruit.
In all this we have to remember that we are just the agents of planting,
it is the Holy Spirit that grows disciples.
There has been much debate over the phrase
'... let your peace return to you' (v13);
does Jesus mean 'Do not bless a house which does not accept your message.'?
I think not for in Matt. 5:44 he says,
'Bless those who curse you.'
I think it's more likely to refer to our own state of mind.
We should not let it disturb our peace if our message is rejected;
we all have the choice to accept or reject what we hear;
although we may feel disappointed or sad for it is Jesus they are rejecting, not us.
All we can do is accept the situation, 'shake the dust off our feet,'
and move on in peace,
praying for those who have rejected the message
and keeping our eyes on Jesus
in the knowledge that he is walking beside us
and that his Sprit is working in the world.