“Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’”
Luke 10:1-12 gives a beautiful picture of how we are to extend the ministry of Christ. Here, Jesus gives clear instructions that it must go much deeper than just proclamation:
1. “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’”
Offer shalom! The word peace actually means “shalom,” which is found 486 times in Scripture. Shalom refers not just to an absence of violence but rather a holistic wellbeing with security and equity in all areas of life. We extend that kind of ministry to people as we enter their lives and communities, proclaiming the message of a God who wants people to experience that kind of wholeness in all areas of their lives.
2. “Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you.”
Build relationships! Eating together in that culture meant intimate fellowship. We must connect relationally with people who don’t know Jesus.
3. “Heal the sick who are there.”
Work to restore the physical effects of a broken world! Christ has given authority to his Church to heal the sick and to cast out demons. Our world is full of the effects of sin that impact people physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually. We must increase our faith to believe that God still longs to demonstrate his power and victory by doing the miraculous.
4. “Tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’”
The signs of the kingdom will always reverse the effects of a fallen world! As we enter people’s lives, sharing the message of shalom and demonstrating kingdom values, we will see a broken and sinful world restored, renewed, and transformed.
It is God’s desire that people experience shalom—the world as he intended it. That is the message that we must proclaim and demonstrate!
SCRIPTURE TO REFLECT ON: LUKE 10:1–12
1. Who am I intentionally building relationships with in my community, on their turf?
2. Do I have faith that Jesus will physically and spiritually heal in dramatic ways as he did in the Gospel accounts? Do I have enough faith to ask him and expect him to do this in my community?
Joanne Beach serves the C&MA in Canada as the
Director of Alliance Justice and Compassion.
Note: A great resource that explores the Church as a builder of shalom community is Robert C. Linthicum’s book, Building a People of Power: Equipping Churches to Transform Their Communities.