5And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. 6And he was amazed at their unbelief.
Then he went about among the villages teaching. 7He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits.
So Jesus ends the day with a fistful of bills and few takers. A few sick people are made well, but it’s drips and drabs of God’s true bounty. He is come to heal the human heart. He is come to lift away the debt of shame. He is here to erase the ledger, to restore us to God and one another. He is here to drive out every evil Spirit and breathe in us God’s own Spirit. He is here to heal and make alive you and I and all creation. But offered a hundred thousand dollars, only a few even answer – and they say, “I just need some change for the parking meter.”
You or I or most anyone else would say “Pack it in boys and girls, we’re going home.” But Jesus keeps moving. And then he doubles down. He commissions his followers to go out in his name to announce God’s reign and heal the sick.
People have shown themselves willing to buy most everything from cubic zirconia to pet rocks, but God’s people aren’t interested in what Jesus is selling: a release from our bondage to sin and death and new birth into a world where the lion lies down with the lamb.
Apparently we like the bloodletting better.
But God is not dissuaded. Two by two. Don’t bother packing; the mission is too urgent. Don’t worry about your wardrobe; God will provide. Don’t beat your heads against the wall; if people aren’t interested move on – but be sure they know that they have renounced the prince of peace. No dust from their world shall cling to ours.
No dust from their world. No dust from the world of Dylann Roof. No dust from the world of hate. No dust from the world of dog eat dog – be the eater or the eaten. No dust from the world of fear and gloom. No dust from the world that chooses profits over prophets. No dust from the world of tears. Shake it all off. And go forth to the next town to touch the world with grace and life. Go forth. Dwell in the realm of Grace. Be bearers of the realm of Grace. Bestow the bounty of God.