- Matthew 11:20-30
- Luke 10:1-42
- Luke 11:37-12:12
“Whatever house you enter, first say,‘Peace be to this house!’ And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you.” –Luke 10:5-6, ESV
There is a natural tendency to draw lines. In order to more easily identify “us” and “them,” our brains create shortcuts to label who is “ours” and who is “theirs.” We long to trust people, so making these boundaries helps us feel like we can trust certain people more easily than to not. And like in so many other things, Jesus blows that concept out of the water.
Jesus tells His disciples to give peace liberally. Even before the disciples would know if the city or the household would treat them hospitably, He told them to give them peace. no fear, no boundaries…indiscriminate, really. Because the determination as to whether one would actually experience the peace wasn’t the responsibility of the disciple; it was the responsibility of the Holy Spirit. For only the sons of peace, those believing Jesus, would even be able to receive the peace. And if they weren’t a son of peace, the indiscriminate giving away of the peace would reflect back on the giver, not the receiver.
Imagine the focus the disciples could shave when then didn’t spend time trying to pick out their friends and enemies. Trusting the Spirit to determine enemies opened the disciples to simply do what they were called to do: to preach the gospel. Notice, it is not that there weren’t enemies of the gospel. Jesus gave clear instruction later to remove the dust from enemy cities and move on. Jesus identifies there are friends and enemies; He simply takes the responsibility of determination upon Himself.