4 Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.
5 “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ 6 If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you. 7 Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house. Luke 10:4-7 (NIV)
Jesus’ instructions to these followers were nearly the same as those given to the Twelve in Luke 9:3-5. Jesus did not want personal possessions to become a burden to them, they were to leave all behind. Nor did he wish for them to become sidetracked by other travelers on the road.
These followers were to speak a message of peace to each house they entered. It appears Jesus was encouraging them to look for men of peace in the same Spirit that they were to pray for workers for God’s kingdom. They were to stay as long as the family who took them in were willing to care for his needs. When it was time to leave they were to go to a new town, not to another house in the same town.
I am reminded of one of the Beatitudes “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God” (Matthew 5:9). When we try to win souls for Christ we will be more effective by sharing the love and peace Jesus has to give than by arguing over our differences in how we interpret the Bible. There are times when it may be appropriate to confront a brother or sister in Christ, but not when trying to witness to the unsaved.
Lord help us to be mindful of the many times you have overlooked our shortcomings when we witness to non-believers, and help us to show them the same love you show to us every day.
Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green
Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.