“If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town.” (Matthew 10:14)
Jesus instructed that if His disciples were rejected by the people they went to witness to, then they should turn and go someplace else. That action would be a judgment on the people. It also taught them to not waste their time in some cases. Luke records this happening with the disciples in his Acts account. The main point however, is that the words that they would be sharing are very important and they are not to be compromised. They would be the very words of Jesus and the people would really be rejecting Him, not the disciples.
It may be this fear of rejection that inhibits our witness as followers of Jesus. We don’t like to be abused and insulted for our faith in Him. We don’t want to be in such an uncomfortable situation so we avoid witnessing all together. We need the boldness the disciples had. We need to remember we are witnesses for Jesus. He is the One with the Truth the world needs to hear. We need to be bold in the face of opposition and not let it discourage us from going to someone else. There are enough who have ears to hear to keep us busy.
Heavenly Father, do not let us get discouraged if our witness fails to convert someone. Remind us that it is You being rejected, not us. Continue to embolden us to be courageous in sharing the Good News of Jesus with those around us. Send Your Grace to soften hearts. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Robert Forsberg is retired from Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Fairborn.