"Those who had been scattered went about preaching the word." Acts 8:4
Finding the courage to continue announcing Good News when one is rejected or persecuted is one of the great challenges of discipleship.We should have no doubt that the rejection of Jesus by the Jewish leaders was difficult for the apostles and disciples. Uneducated and illiterate for the most part, the disciples would find it difficult to defend the Good News formally or intellectually. Nevertheless, they continued to go around Palestine preaching God's word.
Most people who hear the Gospel these days benefit from a basic education, and a majority of the clergy have a sophisticated knowledge of the scriptures and church teaching. At the same time, defending the message of Jesus is as difficult as ever. While it is important for us as a church to articulate our faith carefully and comprehensively, we should not be naive. A few may challenge our theology or spirituality, but most people choose not to accept the Good News and no amount of argument or reason will satisfy them.
Jesus told us not to be afraid and to go from place to place preaching the Gospel, but he also warned us to think of God's love as a seed which we plant. Don't worry, Matthew warns us, about how the Gospel is heard or interpreted. "If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet." (Mt 10:14) In other words, plant the word and leave the growth to God
Today, ask for the strength to preach the Gospel simply and powerfully.
When is it most difficult for you to live or preach the Gospel?