After watching a variety of news events from throughout the night, the title of “Move it Along” came to me. What happened next was my prayer to try and determine what God might want me to write about.
Soon, the passage came to me:
If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that house or town. (Matthew 10:14 HCSB)
I started thinking about WHY this passage. Then, I began thinking about Pastor Carter’s message this past Sunday on questions to ask when reading the Bible. The main question that kept running through my head was “What is the Big Picture?” What does God want me to get from this passage. So, I had to go back to the story:
5 Jesus sent out these 12 [disciples] after giving them instructions: …. 6… go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 As you go, announce this: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those with skin diseases, drive out demons. You have received free of charge; give free of charge. 9 Don’t take along gold, silver, or copper for your money-belts. 10 Don’t take a traveling bag for the road, or an extra shirt, sandals, or a walking stick, for the worker is worthy of his food.”
11 “When you enter any town or village, find out who is worthy, and stay there until you leave. 12 Greet a household when you enter it, 13 and if the household is worthy, let your peace be on it. But if it is unworthy, let your peace return to you. 14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that house or town. 15 I assure you: It will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.”
Each person may get a different Big Picture from this story. My Big Picture continues to focus on the last section which directly emphasizes either being part of a house or village, or separation from a house or village. I believe, therefore, that when we find people willing to obey God, we are to fellowship with them, and share our blessings (peace) with them. However, when we find people who are unwilling to obey God, then we are to separate ourselves from them.*
I believe this Big Picture follows teaching throughout the Bible of separating ourselves from sin. When people don’t obey God, they are in sin, and our presence near that kind of behavior can negatively influence us. Therefore, we should flee from sin and those who don’t open themselves to the Truth of God.
As you live life, spend time with those who love Christ. As you find people who continually deny Christ, Move It Along!
* NOTE: Please understand that I am NOT saying that “we should not witness to the lost.” On the contrary, I totally agree with the Great Commission. We MUST go into all nations and preach the Gospel. In fact, the passage I listed above even quotes Jesus telling the disciples to “go to the LOST SHEEP” (emphasis mine). But let’s not forget that while we are to share the Gospel in Love, we are not to associate with sin. Therefore, it is our job to love others, tell them the truth about God, but also to shield ourselves from sin (our body is a temple where Jesus lives – 1 Cor 6:19-20).