Luke 10:8-12 – “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, `The kingdom of God is near you.’ But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, `Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.’ I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.”
Any community that would recognize and support their godly mission would certainly be a welcoming town. Food and drink would be part of the deserving wage for the rich service these messengers will provide to the place where they would stay. They are to conduct themselves as a part of the family or community that receives them and their message. They should not be persnickety, ungrateful, snooty or arrogant regarding the food that is set before them. Nor, should they act falsely humble if they receive extra special kindness or extravagance in the culinary they may be presented with. Jesus does not deal with concerns about issues of food offered to idols or alcoholic beverage, simply because there is no need for it. Those who properly and graciously receive these ambassadors of God will also treat them with due reverence and hospitality as well! They will not be purposely offensive in their provision. So, when among such people, eat what is set before you and be thankful!
Jesus also gives them authority to demonstrate the power and mercy of God in their mission. They are authorized to heal the sick who are in that town. This is not only the power and mercy of God at work, it is also His affirmation of their welcoming spirit and hospitality shown to His ambassadors. Their ministry of healing provides the opportunity for their message. Tell them, “The kingdom of God is near you.” The reign of God is incredibly close to those who are welcoming of His ambassadors! It is so close, all they need to do is welcome the One who sent them in the same way as they received His representatives.
BUT – when you enter a community where you are not welcomed, if there are none that will receive you and your message, then leave! If you are not welcomed in their HOMES, Jesus instructs them to give a warning in their STREETS. These ambassadors of Christ are to declare, not with rage, scorn or resentment, but with compassion and concern for their eternal and perishing souls and the disastrous ruin they are bringing upon themselves, “We shake off even the dust of your town from our feet against you.” You are accountable for rejecting God’s own message and His messengers. They are not responsible for the impending judgment that befalls those who reject God! They have been faithful to their charge. These representatives of Christ must not even leave any of the town’s dust on their feet.
YET – you can be absolutely certain that this rejection does not change the fact that God’s kingdom is near! As with Nineveh, even this town may repent and believe! God’s kingdom is as close as that – Repent and Believe! Change your mind, change your heart, and agree with God! But, you can also be absolutely certain of this, it will be more tolerable for Sodom on the judgment day than for the town that rejects God and His gracious love as represented by these ambassadors of the Lord Jesus Christ!