“If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that house or town. I assure you: It will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.” (Matthew 10:14, 15 HCSB)
In Matthew chapter 10 Jesus sends out his disciples. He instructs them not to take anything with them. He goes on to say that when they enter a town or village to find who is worthy and stay with them. Then he says the words quoted above.
These are harsh words. You remember how the story of Sodom and Gomorrah ended. Two towns so wicked that God personally wiped them off the face of the earth. Yet Jesus says that it will be better on judgement day for these cities than for anyone who will not welcome these disciples. This is shocking. However, what I find even more shocking is that most people in the church today would find themselves among those that did not welcome the disciples.
Pastor Matt, that’s a pretty harsh accusation. How can you say such a thing?
As a kid I remember my parents housing people that travelled into town. Sometimes these people were doing something at our church, other times they were doing mission work in, or near our town. In either case these were disciples that entered our town and were looking for who was worthy and they found us. It is shocking how seldom this happens these days. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but the examples are few and far between. My own experience has been that it is very difficult to find these that are worthy. Those that are willing to invite a disciple into their home, even if they had never met him before.
In April I will be traveling to Atlanta to attend the Orange Conference. I have no money for lodging and barely enough money for gas and food. So I will be doing as Jesus instructed. I will enter the town and look for someone that is worthy. I will make no reservations and I will carry no money for lodging. I will pray that God will provide a place for me to stay and then I am going to sit back and see what God does.
Now some questions for you:
- If a disciple entered your town would they find you worthy?
- Would you welcome them into your home?
- When was the last time you did?
- When was the last time you opened your home for a fellow believer who was sent into town by Jesus, to do His work?
Maybe your reading this and thinking that I am wrong. I hope I am. Please share the stories of when you have done this. Share stories of when someone you know has done this. If you see that this is still happening, please renew my hope in the church’s willingness to minister to it’s own.
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