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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