I didn’t want a mish mash of lots of small bits and pieces. Praise God I got the passage of teaching in the last few days!
This teaching given by Jesus Christ is used for other puposes, so like me you may never have seen it in this light.
And for people who have been abused, or who have poor boundaries, or poor self esteem… this teaching will give you permission to protect yourself and to make better decisions.
In this passage of teaching (Matt 10:1-17) Jesus Christ has called His disciples to Himself. He is about to teach them. Who are His disciples? That’s you and me!
1He called his twelve disciples to him …
He gave them a specific goal and told them to avoid people/places who are not in the specific goal… in other words, you do not need to be responsible for everyone you know, but for the people God sends you to.
5These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among … 6Go rather to the…
Then He gave them advice to stay with “worthy” people. The AMP says “deserving”. You will see that later on Jesus warns against dangerous people, so the person you entrust should be someone safe.
11“Whatever town or village you enter, search for some worthy person there and stay at his house until you leave.
Now Jesus teaches them to evaluate the situation, to make a judgement. IS this a safe place for me? Are these people listening to me and hearing me?
13If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you.
And what’s more, if the people are NOT worthy – not safe, not reliable, not trustworthy – then move away from them. Don’t stay in an unsafe situation. If people don’t welcome you, leave them, go away from them!
14If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words,
In fact, don’t just leave… shake the dust off your feet… don’t even take the dust with you, when you leave!
shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town.
Have you noticed? There is nothing meek and mild about this Jesus Christ – he has boundaries, common sense, assertivity and more!
Now Jesus tells us that there are wolves out there. And indeed there are!
16I am sending you out like sheep among wolves.
You are to be shrewd as a snake.
Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.
I think there are far too many Christians who refuse to be shrewd, and the wolves get them time and again. Perhaps they didn’t “search for” worthy people, and instead stayed with unworth people who were wolves?
And then Jesus drops the clanger. He knows our heart, he knows our desperation to get ahead and to succeed at the expense of others. So He warns us…
17“Be on your guard against men…
Not everyone is bad, but His sensible advice is to look around you, and be aware of what’s happening. If you spot a wolf then leave!
What can we learn from this teaching that Jesus gave His disciples?
- It is that you should be focussed on the work He gives you to do. You can’t be all things to all people. If He sends you to help someone, you don’t have to help everyone on your way there and everyone on your way back.
- People can be dangerous, like wolves, and you need to be on your guard. So you need to make good decisions, be wise, be shrewd.
- Don’t entrust yourself to just anyone and everyone… instead… seek our worthy people, and if you get it wrong and they are not worthy, then leave them, move on and shake off the dust that got onto your feet while you were with them!
But when you DO find worthy people, people who will listen to you and hear you… then stay with them. Not everyone is dangerous, but Jesus Christ is clearly teaching that SOME ARE. But when you find safe people, stay with them. There are good people in this world. You have to “search for” them as He says in v11.