Luke 10:8-11 – 8 Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you. 9 Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, 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.’
Jesus commanded his disciples to go to nearby towns to preach the gospel and heal the sick. As they went, the people could respond to Jesus in one of two ways, which is always the case. They could choose to believe the message of the disciples and repent, or they could choose to ignore the message of the disciples.
What caught my attention as I read through this is the similarity of the proclamation. If the people turned from their sins and believed, they would hear from the disciples that the Kingdom of God has come. But, if they choose to ignore God’s grace, the message is the same, the Kingdom of God has still come.
Here is what strikes me this morning. It is not the acceptance or rejection of God’s grace that brings the Kingdom of God. God brings the Kingdom. Those who are under God’s grace will have joy and mercy in the Kingdom. Those who, however, reject God’s grace are still going to experience the same coming of the Kingdom. For them, however, it will not be mercy but judgment.
One falsehood that is often portrayed in our culture is that of God needing the faith of people to gain strength. This is not, however, the God of the Bible. God is not benefitted by our acceptance of his grace. God’s Kingdom will come, and has come, with or without our faith or our help. We have been honored by God to be allowed to join him in his eternal plan. But let us make no mistake in thinking that without us his Kingdom will not come.
I’m not saying that there is no reason for us to work for God. Nor am I saying that God does not consider us important. He has stamped us with his image, and that is valuable beyond words. The point is simply that God’s Kingdom has come in Christ and will ultimately come in Christ. If you are under his grace, God’s Kingdom will be joy and eternal life for you. If you do not have God’s grace, his Kingdom will be eternal judgment for you. If you are still alive, you still have time to get under his grace, believe and repent.
I think an appropriate response to this passage is to praise God for the amazing glory of his Kingdom. It is good to know that pockets of worldly resistance are not preventing God from accomplishing his plan. God is far more glorious than that. He will be glorified. His will is going to be done. His Kingdom cannot be thwarted by the faith of men or the lack thereof. Praise be to such a mighty and awesome God.