If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them. So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere. (Luke 9:5-6)
In Kankakee, Illinois, the Discipleship Center is a rehab center with a large greenhouse and shop where addicts are healed by becoming disciples of Jesus and learning work ethic. It is run by a pastor and a teacher, husband and wife. They are only two people, and they can make the greatest difference if they take in people who are open to the Gospel of Jesus. They reject addicts who speak against Him.
Jesus gives us permission to reject people who aren’t open to His love. We shouldn’t force God’s love on people. In Jesus’ early ministry, He had only twelve other lights shining for Him. He needed His light to spread quickly for His message to cover the world. Therefore, Jesus gave His disciples permission to shake the dust off their feet or to wash their hands of people who weren’t receptive to God’s love. He wants them to get in their boat and leave without guilt. It isn’t that Jesus doesn’t love the people who initially reject Him, but later He will send people of like backgrounds who will understand, empathize, and reach them. Remember the ex-demoniac was better able to reach people who had demons than Jesus was, so Jesus got in His boat and left.
Father God, I’ve been through a lot in this world, and you’ve taught me many lessons. Put me in touch with people who will relate to me so I can spread Your love and help people heal. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.