Luke 9. Forum Discussion

Rejection

Luke begins chapter 9 with his account of Jesus preparing His disciples for service.  Jesus sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to perform healing.  He gave each of them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases. 

Jesus also instructed them on how to handle rejection:

“And as for those who do not receive you, as you go out from that city, shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” – Luke 9:5.

Luke’s gospel is written chronologically.  Jesus had just gotten through talking about the Parable of the Sower in Chapter 8 where He talked about why a lot of the seeds that were planted would not produce fruit.  He mentions:

  • Those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved.
  • Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away.  
  • The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity.  

Now in chapter 9, Jesus thought it was important to instruct His disciples on what to do when cities do not receive them.  They are to, “Shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.”  The disciples had a great message to deliver.  They also could cast out demons and heal the sick.  And yet, Jesus knew that they would not be welcomed everywhere they went to try and spread the Gospel.  That may seem counterintuitive to us at first, considering all that Jesus has done.

Why would anyone reject Jesus after all the love, grace, and mercy He has shown us?  After He willingly died on the cross to accept our punishment for sins that He did not commit.  Why would anybody not want Jesus to be their Lord and Savior? 

Think of what Mathew wrote in Mathew 23:

“Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them.  They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger. But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments.  They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men.”

Here are just some of the things that Jesus warned His disciples (and us) to avoid:

  • Saying but not doing
  • Placing heavy burdens on others and not being willing to do any work yourself
  • Doing deeds to be noticed instead of to honor God 
  • Thinking too highly of ourselves

Finally, in verses 51-56, Jesus Himself was not received on His way to Jerusalem.  His disciples James and John were very angry about that and wanted to do harm to those that had rejected Jesus.  They said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?”  Jesus replied, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”

Most of us have seen people spend a great deal of time trying to point out other people’s sins and put others down.  It never goes well.  Jesus did not come to destroy but to save.  When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, He responded, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.  And the second is like, namely this, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12:30-31 

The greatest commandments are to:

  • Love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength
  • Love our neighbor as ourselves

Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.  For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.”  Amen

Comments