“Whenever you enter someone’s home let your first words be, ‘Peace to this house!’ If a person who loves peace lives there, they will accept your blessing. If not, your words will come back to you. Stay in this house, taking what food and drink they offer, for the laborer deserves his reward. Do not keep moving from house to house. When you enter a town and the people welcome you, eat the food they provide. Heal the sick who are there. Say to the people of the town, ‘The realm of God is at your door” (Lost Gospel Q, Q30, p.64).
The words, “Peace be with you”, strikes a chord so deep into our hearts, it’s a greeting that wishes nothing but goodness, peace, and love for the person we are addressing. How often do we normally do that? How often do we take the time in our daily lives and wish someone else like our friends, our loved ones, even a complete stranger, and wish them well? The time taken is so small, so minimal that it takes hardly any energy at all, so why don’t we do it? The “Time Spent Series” is my reflections and observations on the biblical teachings that illustrate the amount of time God has spent teaching the human race how to love, how to honor one another, and how to properly spend time. It is my thoughts and feelings on how we need to spend time with those whom we love, our families, and close friends, but also in the smallest of ways why we need to be ready to give that one greeting that changes lives.
Our Lord and Savior took out the time to teach us about God, about Heaven and Hell, he taught the Jews about relationships. Not just our relationship to God, but more importantly our relationship to one another. The crowning glory of his ministry was his simple, but powerful greeting, “Peace be with you.” He says it to his disciples after his death in Luke 24:36 and again in John 20:21. Before that Jesus prepares his disciples for the Holy Spirit before his death and resurrection found in the bible in John 14:27 where he says to them, “Peace I leave with you my peace I give you.” This greeting can be found later in John 20:26 when Jesus greets Thomas after the other disciples saw the risen Christ. He said this to calm their souls, to build them up, to show his love for them.
“When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house’, If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not it will return to you. Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages” (Luke 10:5-7, p.1591, NIV).
In fact Jesus was so specific to include what you say when entering a person’s house and as illustrated above how to greet a town. He was preparing them how to greet people one-on-one, on their own terms. His anointment on the chosen seventy two happened after he was rebuked in the village of Samaritan, as found in Luke 9:51-62, still he taught his anointed to greet people with peace in your heart.
Time spent traveling from village to village as told in the bible, was Gods method of spreading the words of peace, love, and joy, because that is all we, his disciples, his children can do. Knowing this Jesus taught us all how to greet each other, brothers and sisters in Christ, and despite ones beliefs his example even extents to those who are not Christian, but from other faiths. Jesus embraced the idea that we are all one in the same, one family in God, and our respect is shown to God by greeting people in the proper manner, using his perfect example.
The time Jesus spent was used so strategically that we hardly take notice of the smallest of his examples because all our time is spent looking at his biggest accomplishments. His efforts in his eye-to-eye contact, to his smile, his gestures, and in his greetings, all took no energy on his behalf and changed the hearts and minds of his hardest of critics. His examples in soothing the soul, calming the mind, while spending quality time with all whom he meet and talked with revealed his perfect intent. Jesus’ overriding message throughout the bible has been proclaimed by many, but none so eloquently spoken than by the Apostle John who wrote, “21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God, 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us” (1 John 4:21-23, p.1951, NIV).
The words that most often change lives are not ones of malice and hatred, rather they come from the heart, and as Jesus illustrates, they are a blessings. If we obey his words, then there is no viable reason we cannot find ways to find common ground with strangers who do not hold to our same principals. If indeed our first words which role smoothly of our lips to our fellow man was a blessing, how long would it take to achieve peace in our own hearts.
“10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me” (Psalm 51:10-12, p.843, NIV).
Challenge question: If Jesus could chose to come down from Heaven, be born in a dirty, sticky manger, and know he was going to die a brutal death just to spend time with us; shouldn’t we make the effort to bless our fellow sisters and brothers with the words he taught us?
If you have been moved by this blog I humbly invite you to leave a message telling me your thoughts and how this reflection has touched you. May peace and love be with you all the days of your life. May God keep you and bless you. Amen.