In the early church, as it is even now, it was not easy to be a Christian. I hope you realize that these first disciples, like Peter, were not people with college or university degrees. They did not attend formal classes to learn how to be disciples. They were people just like you and I.
God was looking for the everyday laborer, people that knew what it was like just to go to work everyday and plant seeds for their future harvest. He knew that one way to spread the Word was to speak to people that spoke to other people every day.
Jesus warned his disciples that the challenges ahead would not be easy. Then, just as today, it was hard being a Christian. The fact remains: a person does not become a Christian because he works hard or behaves a certain way. In fact there are times on this Christian walk when followers will be denied, ignored and misunderstood.
The story of the believer being dismissed by the unbelievers is not new. In tenth chapter of Luke, Jesus gives explicit instructions to those 72 He had sent out ahead of Him to towns He was to visit later. “On your way, don’t tarry on the road to where I send you. Don’t greet anybody on the road; don’t waste time on your discipleship. When you enter a town that does not welcome you, go into the streets and say, ‘even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you’.”
This same scenario plays out in today’s day and age. A friend of mine, a Chaplain, is on staff in several local hospitals and gave me an idea of what his days were like. I would like to share his thoughts on just how he deals with the diversity of the patients he is called upon to visit daily.
He told me that each day there is someone he meets that refuses to listen to the message of our Savior. He said he has always been reminded of what Jesus told the seventy-two. “Don’t waste your discipleship on those that refuse to listen.” He said he just washes his hands, as is the custom to do in a hospital before visiting the next room, and goes on to the next patient on his schedule to deliver the Lord’s message again.
Isn’t that what we are supposed to do? The next time you try to talk with someone about our Savior and they don’t want to listen, what should you do?
Wash your hands and wipe the dust off your feet and keep on going to the next patient the Lord has waiting for you.
Jesus tells us the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Don’t ever give up on the Lord, for He will never forsake you. Have faith in Him always. You are His sheep in what sometimes feels like the land of the wolves. At what may seem to be your lowest point, pray the hardest and keep your faith that God will carry you through those times and keep you in His arms.
Proverbs 3:5-6 tells it all: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”