Mark Has Some Good News, Part 22, Saying It Anyway
Jesus Sends Out the Twelve Apostles
7 And he called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. 8 He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in their belts— 9 but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics.10 And he said to them, "Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you depart from there. 11 And if any place will not receive you and they will not listen to you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them." 12 So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent. 13 And they cast out many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them.
Has it ever hit you that Jesus knew that his disciples would be rejected bearing his good news. For me this is big because of the rejection I've felt and had in ministry but if I'm reading this right then Jesus knows when the gospel will be refused, when doctrine will be questioned and when he will be ignored.
And yet he sends us anyway. Just like the man possessed by legion he sends people to spread the news. Just like the disciples he sent, just like the millions upon millions of Christians he has sent since his resurrection. Some to fruitful, successful ministries. Others to deaf ears, hard hearts and martyrdom.
If it weren't for Jesus' sandal instructions, I would not have an answer. I could not come up with a good solid answer as to why an all knowing God would evangelize to an unbelieving people. But because Jesus speaks, we have the answer. Tenderly hidden in the actions the disciples were to perform were they refused.
By shaking off the dust they quite literally left the evidence of their
Labor, the proof of their work. They were to walk bringing nothing but themselves, to testify about Christ and do good works Jesus prepared for them. And I'm guessing that's what Jesus wants. He gives us chances. More than we ever ought to have considering our past and our sinfulness. So by leaving the proof at their feet they are left to either repent or go to hell. I know that unpopular but it's what Jesus shows us to be true. If he is the only way, truth and light rejecting means you’re lost, wrong and in the dark.
Jesus shows us here the finality of the Christian walk. We should keep that in mind as we labor for him that we may be his final messengers to a lost cause. That we would work ever harder to convince those he sends us to towards a change in heart.