DON’T LOOK BACK
Lord, thank You for those who have nurtured me in my faith.
Read Luke 9:1–9
Jesus Sends Out the Twelve
9 When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 3 He told them: “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt. 4 Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. 5 If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” 6 So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere.
7 Now Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was going on. And he was perplexed because some were saying that John had been raised from the dead, 8 others that Elijah had appeared, and still others that one of the prophets of long ago had come back to life. 9 But Herod said, “I beheaded John. Who, then, is this I hear such things about?” And he tried to see him.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectIn what ways had Jesus prepared his disciples for this new phase of their lives?
I used to work for our local Blind Institute, visiting visually impaired people at home. On the whole, people were very ready to listen and take my advice. Infrequently, I would feel that I could do no more, as every suggestion I made was met with a negative. Then it was hard not to shake the dust off my feet and leave.
The disciples have had their period of training with their master, and now they are being dispatched to go it alone (2). Their preparation culminates in them being given the power and authority to go out in Jesus’ name. They are to travel light (3) and not stay anywhere they are not welcome (5). Shaking the dust from their feet was what Jews did on leaving Gentile territory, getting rid of any last bit of unholy ground and not looking back. This is what the disciples are to do. They are on a mission journey.
Sometimes we yearn to leave a certain place or situation, but it might not be that easy. And perhaps Jesus actually wants us to persevere there—to live our lives as a witness to him until he does make the way ahead clear.
Have you ever felt unwelcome somewhere? How did you react? Ask God to help you to know when to stay in a situation and when to go.
Lord, whether You call us to move on or to stay, we thank You that You are always with us.