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Dusty Feet

Have you ever had someone following you around all the time trying to prove you are wrong and their hatred is a constant source of aggravation? If so, then you have experienced what Paul and Barnabas had happened to them at almost every synagogue they preached in. You would think a church house would be most willing to hear the message of Christ and the hope of salvation, but no. You know things are bad when they won't even let you preach the gospel in a church. The following scripture shows what happened when a willing audience began to respond to the message Paul was preaching and they showed up at the synagogue ready to hear more. Acts 13:46 Then Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and declared, “It was necessary that we first preach the word of God to you Jews. But since you have rejected it and judged yourselves unworthy of eternal life, we will offer it to the Gentiles. 47 For the Lord gave us this command when he said,

‘I have made you a light to the Gentiles, to bring salvation to the farthest corners of the earth.’48 When the Gentiles heard this, they were very glad and thanked the Lord for his message; and all who were chosen for eternal life became believers. 49 So the Lord’s message spread throughout that region. 50 Then the Jews stirred up the influential religious women and the leaders of the city, and they incited a mob against Paul and Barnabas and ran them out of town. 51 So they shook the dust from their feet as a sign of rejection and went to the town of Iconium. 52 And the believers were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

From one Antioch to another, it is about 500 miles as Paul traveled to Cyprus and then on to Perga and up to Pisidia. As they continued to preach the Good News of Jesus they found a willing audience of Gentiles who wanted to hear this great message of hope. But the Jews were shocked at their teaching and their religious piety would not allow them to listen anymore, so they came up against Paul and Barnabas. It probably didn't help when in Paul's message he quoted the prophets where they said. Acts 13:41‘Look, you mockers, be amazed and die! For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn’t believe even if someone told you about it.’ Of course, we don't have Jews in our synagogues trying to protect their traditional beliefs, but.

There will always be those who reject the full teaching of the Bible and many times this happens because of conviction and indifference to the gospel. But the message has to be shared no matter what and if it is rejected, it is not without the realization that was given to those who preach where Jesus said in Matthew 10:17 But beware! For you will be handed over to the courts and will be flogged with whips in the synagogues. All of this happens because of preaching the gospel in a building where Christians meet. It happened that way for Paul and his response to the rejection was pretty firm. Here is what it says in the following verse 51 So they shook the dust from their feet as a sign of rejection and went to the town of Iconium. 52 And the believers were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

Paul and Barnabas showed a sign of rejection to them for not receiving the message and they shook the dust of that town off their feet to show that rejection. This act was in line with what Jesus told the disciples He sent out to do in Matthew 10:14 If any household or town refuses to welcome you or listen to your message, shake its dust from your feet as you leave. In other words, DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME OR GOD'S TIME. May we have the same urgency as Jesus and Paul in sharing this very present message of hope that is still relevant today. The gospel is alive and well and is still working in the lives of all who know Jesus and those who hear it. But if someone rejects it, then it is best to shake the dust off your feet and move on to a willing audience so the gospel can continue to be heard. That may seem a little harsh, but it is totally real words from a real Savior. Time is wasted and the message must go out!! If that message is rejected then move on and keep proclaiming it. Get your feet dusty!

The Pilgrimage Continues

David Warren

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