February 27, 2022
“When you enter any town and they welcome you, eat the things set before you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The Kingdom of God has come near you.’”
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“When you enter any town and they welcome you, eat the things set before you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The Kingdom of God has come near you.’ When you enter any town, and they don’t welcome you, go out into the streets and say, ‘We are wiping off (as a witness) against you even the dust of your town that clings to our feet. Know this for certain: The Kingdom of God has come near.’ I tell you, on that day, it will be more tolerable for Sodom than for that town.” Luke 10:8-12
Today’s passage is a message tailor-fit for today.
First, it never ceases to amaze me how unaccommodating some “believers” are regarding personal evangelism. When Jesus sent out "the 70”, He directed them not only to heal and preach but also to be socially gracious. In an age when the rules of kosher dominated the behavior of the average Jew, Jesus instructed His “missionaries” to eat whatever was set before them.
The point? It is possible to be so Heavenly-minded that you are no earthly good! Jesus is not commanding His followers to break God’s law. He is righting a particular traditional rabbinical interpretation of God’s law. Winning souls is of utmost importance to God, and people are more important than man-made rules. True, most rabbinic rules were developed to keep others from breaking God’s Law. But whenever men make rules, those rules are either more CONSERVATIVE than God demands or more LIBERAL that He allows. Jesus corrected the traditional misunderstanding of God’s Word.
Second, it also amazes me how timid some churches are. It is as if they are afraid to simply share the Gospel for fear of offending people. Here is a rule: If no one ever rejects your Gospel, you’re probably not sharing it as God intended it to be articulated. If you’re not sharing it, you might want to check as to whether you ever received it!
In short: We can be so Worldly-minded that we are no Heavenly good. Do not allow people’s opinions to override God’s command. It is God whom we should be in fear of offending, not men.
Jesus was telling "the 70” that the message of the truth is to be proclaimed, whether it is welcomed or not. Why should people who are presently uninterested or unreceptive to the Gospel be evangelized? Because the message itself is powerful! Since it comes from God and is empowered by His Spirit, it may lead unbelievers to change their minds. Note that Jesus’ disciples were not merely commanded to cease communing with those who rejected the Gospel, but they also condemned that rejection in a dramatic way.
Part of our effective witness includes our going the “extra distance” to clarify the Gospel with all to whom He sends us. We are commanded to make sure that people fully understand what they will (hopefully) accept or (sadly) reject. Take courage and share!