Jesus instructs them, “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.”
For several years, I’ve been training missional leaders and church planters to look for Persons of Peace. For many, this is a new concept. Yet as we read Luke 10, we see that this was critical to Jesus’ strategy for His disciples!
What Is a Person of Peace? (from Dr. Tom Wolf)
PERSON of PEACE – A person sovereignly prepared by God to receive the Gospel, before you arrive.
1. A Person of Receptivity
Our mentality has always been “sow, sow, sow, and then harvest.” Jesus teaches and demonstrates that you “harvest first” and then sow (especially in the oikos of the harvested one[s]).
• God sovereignly places the “Person of Peace” there. IF they are NOT there, then go to another area.
• Search until you find His Person of Peace.
So – make careful plans and strategy, but hold these lightly in your hand so that the Spirit of God can be your director.
• The principle is well illustrated by the conversion of Cornelius.
• The principle is well illustrated by the conversion of Lydia.
• The principle is well illustrated by the conversion of the jailer.
These three show that the “harvest” is first and then the sowing within their “household” and beyond. It is ALL of God. There was NO “sowing” first with any of these.
2. A Person of Reputation
They are people of a known reputation, either good or bad.
Mark 5 – Jesus lands at Gadara and is greeted by a demoniac who is violent, naked, in broken chains, and has a horrible reputation, BUT God has sovereignly placed him there – ready for the Gospel. He is not one that we would normally see as a “Person of Peace” but he became that. (Remember – manure makes good soil.)
This man, after release and conversion, begs/entreats Jesus to permit him to go with them.
The town’s people and owners of the swine beg/entreat Jesus to leave the area. Jesus sends him back to Decapolis to “tell”.
In Mark 7, Jesus returns to Decapolis and now the same people beg/entreat Jesus to stay and touch their sick, paralyzed, etc.
The Demoniac’s “oikos” had seen a changed man. He was now a Godly “Man of Peace” proclaiming Jesus (and notice – he probably had only a few minutes of discipling).
3. A Person of Referral
Ever notice that ALL fish “school”? Scientists call the lead fish that turns first “the fish of reference”.
Ever seen a fish school accident? No collisions or accidents.
The “Person of Peace” becomes the “fish of reference” and he TURNS FIRST in his ethne/group. Through this ONE, God will “turn” an entire “oikos”.
Take your time and LOOK for the Person of Peace!