Friday after the Festival of the Transfiguration of our Lord
Scripture: St. Matthew 10:1-16 (NKJV)
10:1 And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.
2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him.
5 These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.
9 “Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your money belts, 10 nor bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor staffs; for a worker is worthy of his food. 11 Now whatever city or town you enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and stay there till you go out. 12 And when you go into a household, greet it. 13 If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. 15 Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!
16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.”
“And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.”
God has revealed the great wisdom of His Word and the profound blessing of the Gospel to us in Jesus Christ. He calls us to “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” and to believe in the Gospel of our forgiveness in Christ crucified. He sends men in the Apostolic Ministry to preach and teach these things, and He sends all the saints of His Church to live and confess according to them. If people ignore the counsel of His Law and resist the Holy Spirit that would have them believe the Gospel, then it is not a matter over which we should just shrug. We should pray that God’s will be done for them, continue to love them (even if they are as enemies to us), and give them a clear confession about the wages of such sin.
The world says, “Don’t you judge me. Your truth is not my truth, so just go away quietly.” Obstinate sinners will resent the message of shaking the dust from our feet if we have to depart from them. But this is an important part of proclaiming the Lord’s holy truth. We all must be called to repent so that we may not perish, but have everlasting life through the merciful forgiveness of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We pray: Almighty and Everlasting God, mercifully look upon our infirmities, and in all our dangers and necessities stretch forth the right hand of Thy majesty to help and defend us; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.