He called his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to throw them out and to heal every disease and every sickness. Here are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, who is called Peter; and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee; and John his brother; Philip; and Bartholomew; Thomas; and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus; and Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean; and Judas, who betrayed Jesus. Jesus sent these twelve out and commanded them, “Don’t go among the Gentiles or into a Samaritan city. Go instead to the lost sheep, the people of Israel. As you go, make this announcement: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those with skin diseases, and throw out demons. You received without having to pay. Therefore, give without demanding payment. Workers deserve to be fed, so don’t gather gold or silver or copper coins for your money belts to take on your trips. Don’t take a backpack for the road or two shirts or sandals or a walking stick. Whatever city or village you go into, find somebody in it who is worthy and stay there until you go on your way. When you go into a house, say, ‘Peace!’ If the house is worthy, give it your blessing of peace. But if the house isn’t worthy, take back your blessing. If anyone refuses to welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet as you leave that house or city. I assure you that it will be more bearable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on Judgment Day than it will be for that city (Matthew 10:1-15, Common English Bible).
My dad was one of those kind of people who loved to give out advice. It really didn’t matter if you were asking for it or not, he was going to give it to you anyway. Well, he was going to give it to me anyway. My now, adult children would probably say I am the same way. Well, I come by it honestly.
When I was a kid and my dad wanted to give me some piece of unwanted advice, I didn’t put my fingers in my ears, that would not have been smart, but I did do my best to act like I was paying attention while at the same time trying not to listen to anything he was saying.
As it turned out, my Dad’s advice was sound, at least more often than not. There was that day on the river (I am sure he is laughing from above at the mention of that adventure) but I will save that story for another time. But, what I know now is, he did tend to know what he was talking about. And, at least some of the time, I wish he was still around to give me some of that advice, whether I want to hear it or not.
In today’s lesson, Jesus calls and commissions the disciples to go out into their world and do ministry in his name. A good chunk of that lesson is Jesus giving the disciples advice (and like my dad when I was a kid) and that advice was more like instructions they were expected to follow. And, Jesus had some special instructions for the disciples regarding those who wouldn’t listen. “Shake the dust off your feet and move on.”
My dad, though a deeply spiritual and committed man, was no Bible scholar. I am glad about that. Perhaps he didn’t know he was supposed to shake the dust off his feet where I am concerned. I am eternally grateful that my dad never gave up on me.
How do you respond?
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Joy, Peace and Thanksgiving,
Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved