Thursday, July 14, 2005

Luke 10??

8"When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you. 9Heal the sick who are there and tell them, 'The kingdom of God is near you.' 10But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 11'Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.'

What in the world does that mean? Discussed it last night at our MAT and again this morning with the Ministry Team, and I really can't get my head around it.

The broader general context of it is that Jesus is giving instructions to 72 of his disciples that he is sending out to travel across the countryside and tell people about God.

But those two verses, 10 and 11, just don't seem to fit. It seems to me to go against every philosophy of Love Thy Neighbour! Is Jesus advocating here that we only love our neighbour if they will listen to our message, and if not just ditch them. I always thought authentic mission was about loving people first and foremost, and out of that sharing the love of Christ with them? Surely Jesus is not advocating that we just ditch our mates who won't have a bar of our message??

5 comments:

Being Bold said...

Luke 10 is the parallel verse to Matt 10:14 & Mark 6:11 in exactly the same context. Paul carries out this instruction in Acts 13:51.
In Matt 7:6, Jesus also appears to announce the abandonment of certain people: “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces."
The apparent exclusiveness of God seems to also be reflected in the distribution of Australian Christians - it's easier to 'experience the blessings of being a Christian' if you're white, middle-class and educated than for other cultural groups. Surely, if the Holy Spirit moves where it chooses, why is it more in that socio-economic circumstance than others? After all the Holy Spirit clearly guided Apostle Paul to certain areas (and people) and not others.
We like to think of Jesus as the hippie always on about peace, love and understanding - but Jesus talks heaps about the coming wrath, judgment, punishment, even hell (the old testament doesn't even talk about hell as a place of unending suffering) as well as bringing division to all mankind (Luke 12:51).

Saemon said...

Luke 10 seems to be all about preaching the Kingdom, healing, and hospitality - so for me, even if the people who you were aiming at don't 'enter in' because of what you have done, does mean the the acts of Service, the work for social justice, the provision of the 'cup of water' has to stop. Through these acts of social justice (social justice which is a key themes all books of the bible with the exception of Song of Solomon) the Kingdom of God is experienced by those to who the "dust of your town that sticks to our feet, we wipe off against you".

As a side note, that part of verse 11 sounds very much like the French Taunter from Monty Python and the Holy Grail!!

Adam Duckworth said...

OK... here's my humble opinion. The two words to focus in on are "not welcomed." It's not about whether they accept your message or not, it's about if you as a person (and as a Christian) are welcomed into their presence. If they still don't see your point of view, it's still the right thing to serve them. But if they don't welcome you, don't get so beat up about it. Just wipe the dust off your feet and keep going.
That's my two cents. And it's all off the cuff... so I may be completely wrong if you pull out a Greek dictionary. :)

Mr. Selfdestruct said...

I concur, the only question is when do you decide that you give up and go on with your business? Do you:
A) Walk out when they refuse to shake hands with you before the bout
B)go for round one and (if you seem to be failing) throw in the towel or
c) keep fighting until their manager grabs a staple gun and shoots staples at you?

(Was going to go with a less violent analogy, but I'm in the mood for boxing)

mase said...

any more thoughts on this digs? have you come to any conclusions?