Ron Kadyschuk – Sunday October 20, 2009
Saskatoon Chinese Church
LEARNING TO ‗LEAVE THE DUST‘ BEHIND
We live in a world that is always putting ‗baggage‘ on us.
-so many responsibilities,
-so much work to do,
-so many people calling on us from every side
It is very easy for us to start to feel that it is too much – there is too much pressure, too many responsibilities, too many worries and
Jesus was very concerned that his disciples would learn how to deal
with the many pressures of life.
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus gives his disciples a lesson in how
he wants them to learn to travel light in a world of heavy baggage.
Part of that lesson includes learning how to ‗leave the dust‘ behind in
The title of my message is, ―Learning how to Travel Light in a World of Heavy Baggage‖
Scripture: Matthew 10.5-14 105-14
If you would like to know my ‗sermon in a nutshell‘ – so you can settle into your chair and a little nap before lunch! – here it is:
To find satisfaction and fulfillment in life, we need to learn how to deal
effectively with unpleasant experiences. We must learn how to ‗leave
the dust‘ behind.
Let me share some background to our Scripture reading.
Jesus has just gathered his twelve disciples together for a quick Bible
school session before sending them out for the first time on their own.
He wants to prepare the disciples to cope successfully with the many
challenges they will face as they move out into the world.
A Good Question:
As I read this Scripture passage from Matthew 10, I find myself asking
the question, ―What is the picture that Jesus draws of a successful
Jesus Answers the Question:
As he commissions his disciples to begin their ministry, Jesus sets
out five principles for their success and fulfillment in life.
These five principles are: 5
1. BE LIGHT IN THE ‗BAGGAGE‘ OF THIS WORLD (V9-10)
9-10 -take along no gold, silver, or copper
-take no bag or extra tunic or sandals or staff
In other words, travel light! avoid piling up a bunch of ‗stuff‘ that will
only slow you down.
An example will help us to understand what this means:
One day a rich young man came to Jesus. He thought he was
doing quite well spiritually and wanted Jesus to tell him so. But
Jesus saw through to the young man‘s heart; he saw that the man
was consumed and controlled by his possessions. So Jesus asked
him to do the hard thing, to give everything away.
Now, Jesus was not against the young man‘s possessions.
Rather, he was concerned about how much the man‘s life was being
controlled by the ‗baggage‘ of this world.
2. BE STRONG IN THE POWER OF GOD (V8A)
-―heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, drive out demons‖
-in other words, share the message of the gospel and meet the needs
-be filled with the Spirit of God so we can make a difference in
*Be light in the baggage of this world, and *Be strong in the power of God Jesus also tells his disciples to:
3. BE GENEROUS IN THE GRACE OF GOD (V8B)
-―freely you have received, freely give‖
-do not be selfish in ‗metering out‘ grace and kindness to others
-God was not selfish with us, so do not be selfish with those around
The other day I was telling someone that I used to be much more
critical and judgmental of other people‘s mistakes. But – as I grow older I realize how easy it is for me – myself – to make similar or worse errors. So I am trying to become less critical of others.
I will share one personal example:
Some time ago I went to a car wash and proceeded to wash my
car with the spray wand. If one of my children years ago had left one
of the car windows down 4 inches, I would likely have been very upset.
But here I was merrily spraying my car, totally oblivious to the
fact that I had left a rear window down about 4 inches. While cleaning
up the inside afterwards, I reminded myself why the Scripture says,
―Judge not, lest you be judged.‖
*Be generous in the grace of God – you will need someone else‘s generosity sooner than you think!
4. BE DISCERNING IN YOUR CHOICE OF RELATIONSHIPS (V11-13)
This point begins in verse 10, where Jesus says, ―for the worker is
worth his keep.‖
10 There was a custom and obligation of hospitality in the culture of the
Jesus tells his disciples, ―When you come to a town, search for some worthy person there. As
you enter the home, give it your greeting. ―If the home is deserving,
let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you‖
Jesus guides his disciples to make wise choices in the company they
When they find people who are supportive and compatible with what
the disciples stand for, then they are to share life and fellowship with
them, and bring God‘s peace and presence to that home.
However, when the disciples find that people are not in tune with what
they stand for, the disciples are to depart from those people and not
leave any part of themselves in that place.
―Taking back your peace‖ means:
? You will not leave any unhealthy emotional attachment behind!
? You will not suffer anxiety and stress because of ‗what might
? You will find a way to put that experience into perspective and
go on with your life!
Be discerning in your choice of relationships!
This point leads to the fifth principle that Jesus shares with his
5. BE CONFIDENT IN LEAVING BEHIND AND MOVING AHEAD
Jesus tells his disciples, ―If people will not welcome you into their
home, or will not listen to your message, shake the dust off your feet
when you leave that home or town.
Some background information is necessary for this act of ―shaking
the dust off.‖
Shaking the dust off
The shaking of dust from your feet recalls the Jewish custom of
carefully removing the dust from shoes and clothes after passing
through Gentile territory back into Jewish land.
The shaking of dust from your feet
Not a speck of such contamination was to follow the Jew back into
Think about this principle for a moment.
The disciples have just been rejected and perhaps even persecuted
for their preaching.
-It has NOT been a good day.
They are leaving town with little to show for their efforts except a lot
of negative memories.
It would be easy to summarize that their whole experience has been a
failure and now they have earned:
-a first-class ‗pity party‘
-a time-out from ministry
-an excuse to hide away for a while
-Something like what Elijah did when he defeated the prophets
of Baal then ran away from the harsh words of Jezebel.
-Something like what Jonah did when he sat on the hill, baking
in the sun, waiting for God to destroy Nineveh rather than save it.
But Jesus says, ―I know what you are thinking and feeling!‖
He cuts in and says,
? ―Don‘t let the experience throw you overboard to wallow in the
sea of discouragement or despair!‖
? ―Shake the dust off your feet!‖
? ―Shed all evidence of the distasteful experience!‖
? ―Pick yourself up and move on to the next chapter of life!‖
? ―Don‘t let those people who were part of that experience have
the satisfaction of messing you up!‖
? ―My calling on your life is bigger and better than anything that
any life experience can do to you!‖
Is the challenge of Jesus to his disciples getting through to you and
to me today?
Are the words of the Apostle Paul ringing in our ears, do we hear him
―But one thing I do,
FORGETTING what is behind and
STRAINING TOWARD what is ahead,
I PRESS ON toward the goal. . .!‖
(Philippians 3.13-14) 313-14
Shake the dust off.
Be confident in leaving behind and moving forward.
Do you need a fresh dose of the principles which Jesus shared with
his disciples? - the marching orders he gave them so they could have
a successful and fulfilling life with him?
*Be light in the baggage of this world! *Be strong in the power of God! *Be generous in the grace of God! *Be discerning in the choice of relationship! *Be confident in leaving behind and moving ahead!
These principles have just as much to offer us today as they did for
the disciples with Jesus. Following these guidelines will do much to
move each one of us into a more successful and satisfying life for
They will help us to travel a bit lighter in a world that keeps putting
heavy baggage on top of us.
May the Lord help each one of us to hear the words of Jesus and find
the power we need through the Holy Spirit.