“Lord, I’m listening now!”
Here is what I am hearing. Yeshua instructed His proteges to look for a person of peace and make his/her home or their place of business the base of outreach operations. This was Messiah’s practical outreach method.
- Jesus & Matthew – Matthew 9:9-13
- Jesus & Zacchaeus – Luke 19:1-10
- Jesus & Peter, Andrew, James, John – Luke 5:1-11
- Jesus & Mary, Martha, Lazarus – Luke 10:38-42
Inviting seventy of His disciples to become partners in His ministry, Jesus sent them out in pairs to all of the cities and villages of the Galilee. Look at Luke 10:1-16. Notice Yeshua’s specific instructions in Luke 10:5-6. Our Master’s instructions can be distilled into a number of principles. I have enumerated these in the following way:
- Find a person of peace, someone who demonstrates a desire to be around you.
- Go into their home or place of business, somewhere that he/she is at ease.
- Allow that person to meet your needs, to be hospitable towards you.
- Look for opportunities to build into his/her life by sharing the Word of God.
- Be ready to demonstrate the benefits of citizenship in the Kingdom of God.
- Invite him/her to believe in Messiah, become His disciple, and follow Him.
In the Mosaic Law, according to Leviticus 19:33-34, Israel was commanded to be hospitable to strangers. The reasoning was that the Jews themselves had once been strangers in Egypt, treated harshly. Ministering to the needs of strangers was a matter of honor and respect for the Jews. This is still true throughout the Middle East to this day. The persons of peace that Jesus told His disciples to seek out would be individuals of honored influence. In fact, one of the words in the Old Testament for “honor” is כָּבֹד (pronounced kaw-bode). It means to be “weighty”. In this context the person of peace would be a weighty person, an individual with influence in his/her community. Perhaps you can think of some reasons why identifying and seeking the affiliation of a person of this type might yield tremendous opportunities for the acceptance of our message. Feel free to share your thoughts or observations on this below.
Thinking about this strategy, I am struck with how contrary this is to so much of what is categorized as outreach and discipleship activity. The vast majority of evangelists and missionaries I know spend huge amounts of energy and time on raising financial support, preparing materials, and planning for event based ministry. Most of us won’t “go” anywhere until we have everything figured out. We attempt to bring everything we think we will need with us. For more on that look at last week’s blog. What does this say about what we believe concerning God’s personal leading and provision in that to which we are called? More importantly, what does this self-propelled strategy communicate to those we want to reach?
I am sure that over the coming weeks and months, this idea will continue to grow in both my mind and in my heart. Maybe you are challenged by it as I have been. Currently, this is all theoretical as far as my own experience. But, I hope to change that in the future. The Disciple Daily network is a place where disciplers can sharpen one another. So, I am looking for your insight. Feel free to use the comment area below to share any observations, wisdom, or questions on this posting.
Finally, if you have about 30 minutes, the video below also touches on this concept. Until, next time!