Luke 10:9 Heal the sick in [the town] and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’
Luke 10:10 But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say,
Luke 10:11 ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’
Luke 10:12 I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.
Luke 10:13 ¶ “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.
Luke 10:14 But it will be more bearable in the judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you.
Luke 10:15 And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You shall be brought down to Hades.
Luke 10:16 ¶ “The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”
Whenever a 1st-century Jewish person would come home or back to Jerusalem from being out in the Gentile world, they would symbolically brush the dust off of their feet. It was to symbolically (and maybe practically) clean any unholiness off of them before they went into the Holy City.
Jesus is telling the disciples, if people won’t listen to you, shake the unholiness of that town off your feet, and keep going. The truth of your message, the fact that the kingdom of God had come near to them, didn’t change.
That doesn’t mean that those cities aren’t going to have their troubles. It’s just not the disciples’ responsibility to inflict those troubles. It’s like when kids discover how fun it is to slide on a slick floor in their socks. You can warn them, you can tell them, but ultimately, gravity is going to be the enforcer here. You can warm yourself up with the “I told you so” or get ready to kiss that elbow that went down too hard when they finally fell.
Jesus called the disciples and He calls us to proclaim the Kingdom, but not to bring the slam down on those that don’t believe it. My ability to convince others doesn’t have bearing on what is true. Gravity isn’t any less true if my kids don’t believe they’ll fall. They aren’t Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius. It’s the same for the Gospel of the Kingdom.
Let’s proclaim Jesus’ presence. Let’s break out the good news. And if there are people that don’t listen (and there will be) let’s keep on telling more people.
It’s true. Jesus has forgiven your sins and the Kingdom of God is all around us.