It’s worried me that I haven’t had much effect on getting people interested in God. “Yes, but,” someone said, “why bother trying to tell people anything about God if they’re not interested? Like Jesus said in Matthew 7:6, ‘Don’t give dogs what is sacred, and don’t throw your pearls to pigs.’”
But didn’t Jesus himself tour town and country to wake people up to the new world and new humanity God sent him to get started – to people who mostly weren’t interested back in his time too?
Did it bother him that they weren’t interested? Yes, he felt deep compassion for people wandering clueless through life like lost sheep – but he also told his disciples in Mark 6:11, that if “any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” If they won’t listen, you have no further responsibility to them. Your conscience is clear.
So when Paul and Barnabas were expelled from Antioch by the Jewish leaders, “they shook the dust off their feet” and “as a warning” or testimony too – just like the warning Jesus gave to the Jews who rejected him, that “it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for you.”
It seems harsh, but Jesus laid it on the line with them: “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him,” John 3:36. You either accept that or you don’t, and if you don’t then you face God. And in saying that, Jesus’ job was done. It was now over to them.
And Christianity through the ages has made that pretty clear too. We come with a simple message: “Listen to what God said through his Son and eternal life is yours. That’s the kind of God he is. Good news, eh?”
It’s the best news ever, because what have we humans come up with that’s better? We’re stuck in this endless merry go round of life and death, with no clue what life is for. Same as the people in Jesus’ day.
We, like Jesus then, have pearls to offer, a message of great news for people and the planet. But if our pearls are treated like pig swill, there’s no need to flagellate ourselves for it. Brush off and move on.