Luke 9:5 and Apologetics


“And wherever they do not receive you, when you leave that town shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them.”

How are we to interpret this? Initially I’m reading this and thinking “if the people you evangalize to aren’t listening, you feel like nothing you try is making an impact or they just start showing you malice, it’s time to stop with them and go elsewhere.”

But I’m not sure that’s the right way to take that verse. Thoughts or canon doctrine on what that verse truly entails?


i think you’re correct. the evangelist brings the good news, and the Holy Spirit takes over from there.


The footnote for the verse in the Ignatius Study Bible says that this is “[a] symbolic act of judgment and curse” and cites Acts 13:51. In that verse, Paul and Barnabas “shook off the dust from their feet” against Antioch of Pisidia after the Jews persecuted them there. The footnote for this verse says that the action “adapts the Jewish custom of shaking dust from one’s sandals before reentering the land of Israel from Gentile territory”.

In essence, it seems to give the meaning of not wanting anything to do with the city, not even willing to have their dust stuck to one’s feet.


Well, for one I think it shouldn’t be you/us that’s trying to make an impact. That’s the Holy Spirit’s work. Humans are just the mouthpieces. :wink: In other words, one brings the word, and let the Holy Spirit do the actual job. Apologetics I believe is not about about who has the better argument or who gets the most points. So I guess there are times when you just had to ‘shake the dust off your feet’.


It seems to suggest something more serious if you read it in Matthew 10: 14-15


yes, it doesn’t sound good for eternal judgement. but God always leaves the door open for repentance.

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