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Fleeing from Town to Town


Jesus told his disciples, “When they persecute you in one town, flee to another” (Mt 10:23). Fleeing from one town to another is not out of fear or for one’s own safety. It is the application of wisdom in the missionary effort. There should be sufficient reason to face martyrdom. Subjecting oneself to persecution with no relevance or outcome is worthless. Otherwise, it would waste the resource personnel of the Church. So, such fleeing is for further spreading of the gospel where “the harvest is plenty”.

Jesus shifted his locations of public ministry depending upon the rejection or receptivity of the people in the locality. The people in Nazareth rejected Jesus’ ministry. So, “he did not work many mighty deeds there because of their lack of faith” (Mt 13:58). After healing of the Gerasene Demoniac by sending the demons to a herd of swine, “The entire population of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them because they were seized with great fear. So he got into a boat and returned” (Lk 8:37). When a Samaritan village did not welcome Jesus in their area because he was heading to Jerusalem, Jesus journeyed to another village (Lk 9:51-56). Jesus asked his disciples to follow the same approach in their ministry. Preaching to closed minds is fruitless. The disciples could find other regions of welcome. Hence, Jesus asked the disciples to be wise like serpents.

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