Shake The Dust Off
“As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give… If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.”
This passage in Matthew centers around Jesus’ sending the disciples into the surrounding villages to proclaim God’s Word. These few were sent with simple instructions; bring the message, do God’s work, and ask for hospitality from those who were in the city. The most surprising but powerful part comes at the end, “if anyone doesn’t welcome you or listen to you leave the town and shake off your feet” followed by some dark language about Sodom and Gomorrah(see Genesis 19). So not only are they to simply leave a place they’re not received but they’re asked to shake the dust off their shoes! They had to get rid of even the dust from the towns that rejected them.
Do you have some dust from the ground of a town you were rejected by? Was there a relationship, a situation, or an event that you keep finding little rocks in your shoes from? In my life I sometimes carry the dust from the ground of negative things that have happened. Sometimes that dust looks like over reacting to a friend or family member. Sometimes that dust looks like holding a grudge or feeling the need to defend myself when I think someone is attacking me. Jesus asked the disciples not just to leave places they weren’t accepted but to remove the dust from their feet to get rid of temptation to carry that rejection with them. Those dusty places that we carry around with us can become a huge burden if we don’t kick them off. You might need to kick off some dust today from something that happened to you in the past. This is your opportunity to clean off your sandals and move on from the past hurt, there are other towns that need you.
Father, Help me to kick the dust off my feet that I keep forgetting is there. Lord help me to forgive people who have hurt me, rejected me, or betrayed me. I know you have plans for me to reach other people and to do good things, help me to get rid of the past hurts that are holding me back. Thank you that you help me in this process and guide me into forgiveness. Amen.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your should and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these." Mark 12:30-31 OBSERVATION God instructs his people...