In Matthew 10, Jesus sent His disciples out to minister to people. His instructions for them were clear, and are the same instructions He gives us every day, “As you go, proclaim this message: The Kingdom of Heaven has come to you and is within reach. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse people with leprosy, and cast out demons. Freely you have been given, so freely give to them.”
In verses 12-13 Jesus says, “As you enter the home, give it your greeting. If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you.”
What does it mean to give your greeting, and to let your peace rest on a home? The Jews had a custom when they met someone in which they would say, “Shalom” to them. Every Jew did it. We say things like hi and hello, good morning, etc., but they said Shalom. The question I have is why? Was it a simple greeting that they were supposed to say to be polite? Or did they learn it from God? Is there more to it than just a simple greeting?
In John 20:19-21 we see Jesus actually demonstrating the Shalom greeting with His disciples. They were hiding in fear, and He came into the room (with the doors being locked) and said, “Peace be with you.” Jesus gave them His greeting and something happened. The greeting removed their fear. How? We could make this simple and say it’s because Jesus had the ability to change the atmosphere because He is God, and that’s true… But it doesn’t explain why Jesus would tell US to practice the same thing.
We need to understand that we have more ability to impact people than we typically realize. Have you ever been in a great mood, full of energy, and then you walk into a store and suddenly feel the opposite? I have. I’ve walked into a building and suddenly felt exhausted, frustrated, sad, or even angry. That is because you walked into someone else’s sphere of influence. The Bible calls it a Metron, and it’s something that everyone has. Often times, we aren’t even aware of these things, but I have learned to focus on people’s metrons because it helps me to know what people are dealing with when they come to me.
Jesus understood this, and taught His disciples to use their metrons to change the atmosphere in the homes they entered. We need to do the same. It is our responsibility to change the atmosphere around us. It doesn’t always work; there are people out there that don’t want the presence of God in their home or business. Our responsibility is to try. A few months ago, a few of our members went to a restaurant to evangelize, and the restaurant had a bar. They were drawn to a particular man there, and tried to share with Him about Jesus, but he resisted pretty forcefully. They were gentle and graceful, but they also focused on changing the atmosphere in the place. They were only there for about 45 minutes, but as they left the restaurant, they overheard the conversation at the bar: the men were talking about Jesus with each other. The atmosphere had changed.
At the same time, it is our responsibility to also protect the atmosphere around us. Have you ever noticed that when a particular person comes near you that you suddenly feel ugly, dirty, negative, etc? That is because they changed your atmosphere. They drove your peace away. We can’t let that happen. Greater is He who is in you that he who is in the world. You carry Holy Spirit inside you. He isn’t there just to sit around. He wants to partner with you. In John 20, after Jesus gave the disciples His peace, He then breathed Holy Spirit on them and told them to receive Holy Spirit. Why? Because He knew they would need Him. I believe Jesus was demonstrating to us just how to give you greeting.
Hopefully this post will help you to start being more intentional about changing the atmosphere around you, as well as to protecting your own metron. It is more important than people think.
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