“And whatever city or village you enter, inquire who is worthy in it, and stay at his house until you leave that city. 12As you enter the house, give it your greeting. 13If the house is worthy, give it your blessing of peace. But if it is not worthy, take back your blessing of peace.” (Matthew 10:11-13)
We spoke Friday about the big picture guidelines that Jesus sent the disciples on their mission with. This mission had two purposes. To educate the disciples on how to minister the gospel, and to actually bring the light of that gospel to those they encountered. We’ll spend the next couple days going through the more specific instructions that Jesus gave them.
What is the peace that Jesus is speaking about?
I’m going to get a little more personal here than normal. I think Jesus is speaking of something here that I have yet to grow into being able to do. Yet, as I type that I realize that He did this through me one time very clearly.
I don’t think this is something natural that Jesus is speaking of. I have been told quite a few times that I have a certain peace about me that makes others feel more comfortable around me. Now, others might disagree and wouldn’t tell me, but I bring this up to note that I have heard this said about me, and yet, I think that that is something that is innate in me (or) “natural”. I don’t think it is a spiritual quality. But I do think that Jesus is speaking of a spiritual “peace” here.
I can think of a time when this happened. I was on a mission trip to the Choctaw reservation in Mississippi (which we’ll start blogging soon). I don’t want to give too many details here because it’s a long amazing story, and this event was the culmination of many amazing stories, but I will say this. Our team was praying about this meeting with this young boy before it happened and I specifically prayed that the situation would be peaceful and go smoothly. We were doing something none of us had ever done and were not at all certain how it was going to go. When the time came, amongst a lot of chaos, a clearing of time happened with me and this boy. It was amazingly peaceful, and I had as much time as I wanted to speak to this young and extremely hyperactive boy. He wasn’t asking to go back and play with his friends as I would have expected. I wasn’t over-thinking the amazing things that were happening, but he and I chatted and he gave his life to Christ.
Afterward, I thought it was too easy. How could I be sure he wouldn’t go back to cutting himself and all the other horrors that had been a part of his life all because of a few simple prayers? But as I prayed a realization came over me that this scene between us had been amazingly peaceful. There were no fireworks telling me God was at work, but as I thought about the peace that surrounded us, I realized that it was not natural. This is what I believe Jesus is speaking about here.
And the natural does matter. Our souls are the battleground of this world that we live in and they are a mixture of our spirits which reside with God and our physical bodies which are slowly dying. They physical does affect the spiritual as God has made us of these three parts and all are important.
You can’t be all worked up physically (either with worry, fear, or stress, etc.) and expect to have any authority in the spiritual. You have theoretical authority because Christ earned it for you, but practically you will not be able to exercise it. So the physical is important, but we see here that there is a spiritual peace that we can have the ability to bring to a situation when we are truly walking in the Spirit.
I’m going to take away from this the understanding that I need to seek God for understanding of how to wield His peace so that I can actually bring it to the situations I find myself in on a daily basis.
I was tempted to go off on a discussion of peace by looking at issues such as: 1) the Kingdom is of peace, 2) Jesus is the Prince of Peace, 3) Peace is achieved by having a right relationship with God, in addition to the fact that 4) We are to be messengers of this peace and give this peace to those around us… as we focused on above. But that would be outside the scope of this text, so I’ll only go there if someone really wants it. You can read these scriptures for more on this subject… Isa. 9:6-7; 11:6-9; Eph 2:13-22; Phil 4:6-8; James 3:18.
Do you see this any different than I do? Can you share any experiences where you were living this, or perhaps could have been?
I hope you’ll invite others to participate here. Thanks for coming by.