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What is a Person of Peace?

March 2, 2015

Person of Peace

Within missionary circles,it is very common to hear this phrase: “Have you found a person of peace yet?” “Oh, God led us to this wonderful person of peace last week!”

But what does that mean, exactly?

In Luke chapter 10, Jesus sent out his 72 disciples with very specific instructions of where they were to go, what they were to do, how they were to go and make disciples.

1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4 Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.

5 “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ 6 If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. 7 Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.

8 “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. 9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’ 12 I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.” {Luke 10:1-12}

When Christ’s followers today enter villages and areas of unreached people hoping to establish a church planting movement, these words of Jesus are still followed. In verse 2, Jesus promised that the harvest is plentiful. God is already at work, and we do not need to worry if people will be ready to hear the message of Christ. Jesus did not say pray that the harvest will come eventually; he said that the harvest is already here! God has already gone before us and ripened hearts to receive the truth.

Christ’s model in Luke 10 shows that there may be one person in the community who will bless us and through whom we could gain access to the rest of the community. Jesus said do not take a purse or a bag, because if we are self-sufficient sometimes we could miss the person God has ordained. He wants to provide for us through this person. He wants us to not move from house to house but instead to stay with this person. As we stay with them, both evangelism and discipleship can happen. God wants to transform this person's life and use them to ignite the church planting movement in their village. They already know the language, they already know the culture, and they can make disciples of their people much better than a foreign missionary could. We must therefore boldly enter a community intentionally seeking to find the people whom God has prepared, the person who “promotes peace”.

Personal Example of a "Person of Peace"

At LSU, a group of college students have been ministering to a Muslim unreached people group. However, this was made possible through a person of peace. Three years ago, an American named Mark sat next to a young student from a Middle Eastern country at a community event. Mark introduced himself, and the student replied, “I’m so happy to meet you! You are the first American who has spoken to me!” The student, Mohammed, started meeting with him every week for coffee. Mohammed started telling his friends about his new American friend. They wanted to meet Mark too, so Mohammed started to bring a different friend or two to their coffee meetings. Through this initial relationship, Mark was able to arrange a party. Mohammed invited about 30 of his friends from his country and Mark invited about 15 of his friends. Today, there are over 100 Muslims from this country in Baton Rouge and about 40 American believers in relationships with them. Through the favor that Mark had with a person of peace, access was granted for the sake of the gospel. Mohammed does not yet follow Jesus, but we are waiting for that day when his life is changed and his influence will lead to the whole community choosing to follow Jesus.

As we pray for laborers to be sent into the plentiful harvest, may we also pray for people of peace who have been chosen by God before the creation of the world. These people are vital to church planting movements and areas where the gospel is not yet.

- "Joy", an LSU Student with a heart for the Nations (Name changed for security purposes)

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