Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave. 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.
Matthew 10:11-13 (NIV)
Read: Matthew 10:1-42
Consider: When Jesus sent the twelve disciples out to preach the good news he gave them specific instructions on what to do when they entered a town or village. They were to search for some worthy person in whose house they might stay. To understand this we need to be aware that this is not someone ‘worthy’ from the worldly sense, but someone who is worthy of hearing the message of the gospel. The problem for the disciples was that public opinion of who was worthy could result in them being directed to the home of a local dignitary, who might well be welcoming of them and willing to provide them hospitality, but who was unwilling to receive the good news about the kingdom. If they found that the home they had entered was not worthy, they were to leave.
Additionally, the disciples were told to give a house a greeting when they enter it. On first reading this sounds odd. However, it becomes clearer when we read the passage in Luke 10 about Jesus sending out the seventy-two disciples. In Luke 10:5 it says: When you enter a house, first say: “Peace to this house”. This is like saying ‘let your blessing rest on the house’. In ancient Israel ‘Peace’ or ‘Shalom’ was a traditional greeting and farewell, used to indicate that you wished God’s blessing and favour to rest on the person to whom it is given. However, to the Christian the meaning is much deeper than a simple greeting or farewell. We also need to remember that elsewhere in the Bible we are told that God is the ‘God of peace’ (Romans 15:33; 16:20; 1 Corinthians 14:33; 2 Corinthians 13:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 13:20). Also in Ephesians 6:15 Paul speaks about one piece of the whole armour of God in this way: ‘… your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace’. So by saying ‘Peace to this house’ we are really speaking the name of God over it and speaking the gospel of peace.
I don’t know if you’ve ever said ‘Peace to this house’ as you enter a home. There is no reason why you shouldn’t. By doing so you will be reminding the home owners and yourself of whom we serve and the message we share.
Pray: Father, we pray that you would enable us to speak ‘Peace to this house’ and for your peace to rest upon the building and the people who live there. May our homes be havens of peace to all who enter there. Amen