"And if the Son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again" (Luke 10:6).
Christ sent His seventy disciples out to witness "into every city and place" (v.1), but before they left, He gave them some instruction about what to do under various circumstances. One guideline was to test the reception of a home by saying, "Peace be to this house" (v.5). If the disciples were offered peace from their hosts, they were to stay and receive the hospitality given. If not, then they were to shake even the dust of the city from their being (v.11) and proceed along to a new destination.
The word "peace" is translated from eirene in Greek, or shalom in Hebrew. It refers to wholeness or completeness in the inner parts of man, with need of nothing else, and should characterize each of us, as believers. "Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you" (II Corinthians 13:11).
Still, there is more to this situation than simply a greeting and overnight stay, for within the verbal probe at the door is a spiritual sensing of the receptivity to the gospel. These men went out two by two to preach the gospel of Christ, telling of His character and mission. The message they had was one of spiritual peace with God through acceptance of the work of Jesus. "The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you" (Luke 10:11). Their message and mission were urgent and could scarcely be wasted on those who were not interested.
Many times it is difficult to detect the presence of God's Spirit in the heart of another. Here is one instrument--using man's spirit of peace--to find God's spirit of peace in the midst of those who are tender for the message of salvation. Reconciliation and fellowship follow. "He that heareth you heareth me" (v.16). KBC