And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it and stay there until you depart. As you enter the house, greet it. And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it, but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.
Jesus has just given his disciples authority to cast out unclean spirits and to heal every disease they encounter. Now he sends them out on their first mission trip. A few reflections:
- The focus was the lost people of Israel. Jesus was not eliminating gentiles
in general but just in this specific mission.
- When the kingdom comes it is often accompanied by the miraculous.
In this we get a picture of what heaven might be like.
- The ministry of the kingdom is without charge but the workers should
have their needs met by the recipients of ministry.
- Ministers need to be received. Too often religious people have an
ungodly cynicism when it comes to pastors and ministers.
- There is a blessing when we receive ministers, drop our guard and
open up to the Holy Spirit's work through them.
- There is a consequence to rejecting the gospel and the minister of the gospel.
It is a serious thing to reject the Holy Spirit.
On the flip-side others sometimes discount the Holy Spirit's working through others and miss out on the blessing that comes through the ministry of others.
Lord, help me to be open to your working through in and through others.