“And whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house.’ And if a man of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him; but if not, it will return to you.” Luke 10:5-6
The 70 disciples were sent out to preach to the Jews as a kind of maiden journey, so that they could exercise the power Jesus had given to them, and learn what the life of a follower of Christ would be like. Before they went, Jesus gave them specific instructions. He told them that when they entered a city, to find a household who would receive them, and let them stay. In fact, they were told that when they entered the city, they were to inquire as to who was worthy to receive them and their peace. Then, when they entered that home, they were to give their peace to the household.
If it turned out that the home had a man of peace there–someone of good moral character (according to my lexical aid)–then Jesus’ peace would rest upon him and his household. On the other hand, if the home turned out to have no one of peace there, then the peace of Jesus would return to the disciples…on its own.
The disciples were sent out to the Jews, so these were people who knew the books of Moses, and therefore, God’s laws. However, that was not to say that they were all living by them. So if the disciples approached a home they were told was worthy of the presence and peace of Jesus, and they found a man of peace living there, he would be given more peace–and not just him, but his entire household.
It needs to be said that whatever “peace” the household had because a man of moral character lived there was nothing like the kind of peace that was bestowed upon it by the disciples. This was the kind of peace that can be found in the kingdom of God. In fact, later in the 10th Chapter of Luke, Jesus tells the disciples to tell those whom they healed and came in contact with that, “The kingdom of God has come near to you.” And this peace, when granted to the household, would continue to rest upon that household, even after the disciples departed.
If you’ve ever watched an account from a person who has “died” and gone to heaven briefly, they will speak about the incredible peace they experienced, and the fact that that peace has remained with them even as they’ve reentered this world. It is different–it is a peace unlike the world gives.
But if the disciples entered a home and gave their peace to it, and there was not a person of peace or moral character there, then their peace would return to them–automatically. It is as though the peace of Jesus is repelled by those who are unwilling to open their hearts to His message. The peace of Jesus and hardened hearts cannot coexist.
But what a wondrous gift these hardened people rejected! It makes me think of the verse, “For whoever has, to him shall more be given, and he shall have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.” (Matthew 13:12)
Those who are open to receiving the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven will be given more and more peace, prosperity, joy, favor. Bubbling up and overflowing. A never-ending river:
“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.'” (John 7:38)
But those who are not open to receiving Jesus, will not receive those things, and in fact, even what they have will be taken from them. It’s as though they will repel all good things, just as the unworthy man or household repelled the peace of Jesus that the disciples had to offer.
Sure, there are ungodly people who have a lot of “worldly” things…mansions, boats, cars, money. But are they happy? Bottom line…do they have peace? Not if they don’t have Jesus. And that’s why they keep trying to get more material things, because they think at some point, they will find peace. But they will continue to repel it until they turn to the source of peace, Jesus Christ our Lord.
If Jesus Christ lives in your heart, then His peace rests on your household. The kingdom of God is near to you. If not, go to Him and ask Him into your heart. He will grant you His peace, and fill you with rivers of living water.