Go; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves…
Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house.’ If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. Stay in that house, eating and drinking what they give you; for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not keep moving from house to house. Whatever city you enter and they receive you, eat what is set before you; and heal those in it who are sick, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ Lk.10:3-9
Jesus was very strategic went He sent out laborers. First the twelve. After them the seventy were sent in pairs to preach the Gospel and demonstrate the Kingdom. His instructions to these laborers was plain and clear. They were to look for a particular person – a “son of peace” – and remain in their home serving the community. Who is this Person of Peace? How do we find them? And what purpose to they serve?
The Bible is full of these particular persons. We have several examples in the Gospel accounts. They come in different packages: men or women, from all walks of life. They may be saved or not. The Person of Peace is one whose life has been touched by God or previously prepared by Him. They are genuine seekers of spiritual truth. They are instrumental in gathering others and bringing in the harvest. Typically, they are socially connected and have broad influence. Sometimes there life has been so dramatically changed their witness opens doors to many others. Consider the woman of Samaria Jesus met at the well in John 4. Her life was touched, she turned and told her story to others. Her testimony started a movement: a harvest of souls from Samaria and a two day revival ensued. The testimony of the demoniac had the same affect (Mk.5). People heard him declare the great things God had done for him and Jesus’ fame spread.
Other notable “Persons of Peace” are Cornelius the centurion (Ac.10) and Lydia (Ac.16) the merchant from Philippi. The Lord opened their heart and they subsequently opened the door to people groups. When we encounter a Person of Peace multiplication is often the result. We often frustrate ourselves sharing the Gospel with people who are not ready to receive. This is why Jesus told the sent ones NOT to go house to house but when they find the Person of Peace, remain there serving.
In 1977 I returned from Bible school to my home in New Jersey. I would take ministry opportunities wherever and whenever they opened. I was full of the Word and on fire. A friend invited me to a charismatic prayer meeting at a Roman Catholic Church. Directly after the meeting a woman approached me and asked if I would come to her home to teach the Bible. At my first visit to her home she had invited family and friends to hear the Word. The house was full. This was the beginning of a wonderful friendship with Marcia. and a weekly meeting in her home that spawned many who went on to full-time ministry and several churches. Marcia was and is a person of peace.
Jesus modeled first what He directed His sent ones to imitate. We find Him in the homes of Levi and Zacchaeus the tax collectors sharing a meal with sinners and social outcasts. These two were great gatherers – Persons of Peace. When Jesus encounters them He does not invite them to the synagogue to hear His teachings. He met with them in the confines of their own homes: among people who were in their social network. The religious people despised Him for it. Jesus modeled for us a way to evangelize today. Meet people where they are at. It’s not necessary to get people to church to receive Christ. Take Christ and His Kingdom to them.
How do we find the Person of Peace? Live an authentic life for Jesus conspicuously and serve others in the power of the Holy Spirit. The Person of Peace will, in most instances, find you. Here are three characteristics of a Person of Peace.
1. Open to a relationship with you – receive the messenger
2. Hungry for spiritual answers – receive the message
3. Will share with others – receive the mission