How To Deal With Rejection in Witnessing – Mark 6:1-29

Reflection from my reading in Mark 6:1-29 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

If you have tried to witness chances are that you have been rejected. Here’s what Jesus told his apostles to do when they were rejected by people.

 “And if any place will not receive you and they will not listen to you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” Mark 6:11

This is a command specifically for the apostles, but there is a principle that applies to missionaries and people doing evangelism today. The Bible Knowledge Commentary explains what it means to “shake off the dust” in this context.

“Devout Jews did this when they left Gentile (alien) territory to show that they were dissociating themselves from it. This would tell Jewish hearers they were acting like pagans in rejecting the disciples’ message. This was to be done as a testimony against the citizens. It warned them that the disciples’ responsibility to them had been fulfilled and those who rejected the message would have to answer to God for themselves”

 Jesus tells them to basically “shake them haters off”. Here’s the principle,

If they are not interested, MOVE ON!

It sounds really simple, and it seems kind of harsh, but it is actually genius. Instead of spending all of your time bugging those who are not interested we should be looking for those who are ripe for the gospel.

Harvest The Ripe

One principle I have recently been encouraged by my Dad (John Worcester) is to harvest the ripe.

Church planters and missionaries specifically should sow the gospel seed broadly, but realize that the spiritually ripe are the ones who are going to respond. If we do our ministry with this goal we won’t be as worried and waste time trying to pull unripe fruit off the trees. We need to work with and seek out those who are spiritually interested and then help them discover Jesus!

There are many people who are ready to respond to Jesus if we will be faithful to seek them out.  Next time you are rejected for sharing your faith don’t let it get you down, simply move on and keep looking for those who are ripe for the good news.

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About David Worcester

I am the founder and director of a campus ministry at San Diego State called Challenge. I am also serving as an ordained elder at Mission Trails Church. I love speaking and writing about college ministry, gospel appointments, and practical ways to live out God’s Word! I am also passionate about: leadership training, learning, missions, church planting, surfing, hiking, sports, photography and traveling (So far I’ve visited 23 countries & all 50 states). I’m married to Jessica Worcester who I fell in love with while doing college ministry together and we have a two year old son named Samuel. I graduated from from the University of Oklahoma (OU) with a degree in Film & Video Studies. And I received my Masters in Theological Studies from Gateway Seminary. I am an ordained minister who loves speaking and writing about practical ways to live out God’s Word in life and ministry.

2 responses to “How To Deal With Rejection in Witnessing – Mark 6:1-29”

  1. John L Worcester says :

    Good word David. Church planters really do need to seek to focus on finding those the Holy Spirit has prepared.

  2. Doug Symes says :

    This is helpful. Good reminder. Thanks!

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