8“If you enter a town and it welcomes you, eat whatever is set before you. 9Heal the sick, and tell them, ‘The Kingdom of God is near you now.’ 10But if a town refuses to welcome you, go out into its streets and say, 11‘We wipe even the dust of your town from our feet to show that we have abandoned you to your fate. And know this—the Kingdom of God is near!’ 12I assure you, even wicked Sodom will be better off than such a town on judgment day.
13“What sorrow awaits you, Korazin and Bethsaida! For if the miracles I did in you had been done in wicked Tyre and Sidon, their people would have repented of their sins long ago, clothing themselves in burlap and throwing ashes on their heads to show their remorse. 14Yes, Tyre and Sidon will be better off on judgment day than you. 15And you people of Capernaum, will you be honored in heaven? No, you will go down to the place of the dead.b”
16Then he said to the disciples, “Anyone who accepts your message is also accepting me. And anyone who rejects you is rejecting me. And anyone who rejects me is rejecting God, who sent me.”
Jesus sent the 72 out on a mission. They were to go out and preach. Now he is telling them that they must also accept that they will not always be received. The decision to accept Jesus or reject him is each person’s own decision. We can see them suffer and know that a better life awaits them, but we cannot decide for them. At some point we are powerless. I guess at almost all points we are powerless. Jesus has the power to change and each person has the power to allow him to change them. We are only messengers.
Sometimes messengers get to partake in great celebrations when the news is well received. Sometimes messengers get shot in anger. Sometimes we broken-heartedly watch the saddest of events unwind in long, slow misery. But we must bring the message and accept the decisions and somehow go on.
Lord, I don’t need to give up hope, but I do need to move on. Help me move on.