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Mark 084 - Expectations Are Everything



Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. And 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.”


Mark 6:10,12


I love upgrades.


When I traveled for a living, I was always on the prowl for an upgrade. I would “adjust” my itinerary (which is a nicer way of saying manipulate) so I would earn more points, more segments, more frequent flyer miles, more benefits, more upgrades.


The upgrades I craved most were:


· First boarding – so I didn’t have to work my way through the sea of unwashed and smelly humanity that were not professional travelers like me.

· Free beverage – complementary beverages because of who I was, where I sat, or in exchange for a coupon.

· First class – The best of all upgrades: more room, more service, more food, more attention, more friendly.


But traveling for these first-century disciples was something less than first class. When they arrived at a town, they will be welcomed by someone. Not a pre-arranged someone, or someone they knew. Not someone that they had the name of on a slip of paper. Just someone. Someone will reach out to them, shake their hand, invite them in.


That person, that place, those provisions, were from God. That should be enough. If God thinks it’s good enough to come from him, then can’t we be satisfied with it?


If God is good, has our good in his heart, and only gives good things, then we can rest in the fact that it’s enough. To have expectations and require more than God gives is to spit in God’s face.


Having this kind of acceptance and satisfaction with what God gives is not just a good thing, but a very good thing. It keeps us humble, prevents restlessness and dissatisfaction. It also keeps us from comparing.


I used to work for a guy that wore a t-shirt with the slogan, “My tastes are simple, I’m easily satisfied with the very best.” It spoke volumes about what he thought was important. He owned a Mercedes, a large high-end SUV, very large house in a prestigious neighborhood, to name a few.


Jesus says that when they arrive at a town, he will provide for them. They will meet some people that will invite them in. They are to gratefully accept and should stay there.


They aren’t to look for an upgrade, better accommodations, better people with better reputations, higher up on the financial, religious, or society food chain. We are to gratefully accept God’s provision as good, enough, and good enough.


And if the people didn’t accept them, they weren’t to “call fire down from heaven to destroy them[1].” They weren’t to make a big deal about it, they weren’t to start a whispering campaign against them, or post a “zero-stars” rating about the town.


They were to quietly leave that area, shaking their feet to remove the accumulated dirt and dust from the bottom of their feet. This was a personal response. They weren’t to “shout from the housetops for all to hear[2]!”


As a modern, western, individual, we think we have the right to not only be critical, but to voice that criticism to our friends, family, neighbors, and our global internet audience. But Jesus words aren’t just for our good, it releases God’s power and authority to judge those people.


We are to not “judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment[3].” And when we do, it’s not only for our best, but for the best of the offending person, and the group as a whole.


It may be difficult to think about, discern, figure out if something is right or not. But there is a right and wrong. To not stand for the right is to stand for the wrong.

[1] Luke 9:54 [2] Matthew 10:27 [3] John 7:24

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