Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you. And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’

Luke 10:4–9 ESV Read More

In early church documents, as in writings from the first few hundred years of the church, some folks took this really serious. If a traveling preacher asked for food or changed houses in a city where he was preaching, you were supposed to stone him! If you’ve ever been in a good conversation and got dumped because you weren’t standing by the Doritos, you know what this is like.

But this wasn’t a law, of course, in Jesus’ mind. It was wisdom. The point of their mission wasn’t the food, the experience, the cool instagram shots, or the collection of stories they’d have afterward. The point was to go and preach “The kingdom of God has come near to you.”

They wouldn’t need food. They wouldn’t need extra clothes. Everything would be taken care of. God knew what they needed and their need for hospitality from their hearers was part of the message. It said:

My message is so important that I didn’t take the time to arrange for my shelter before I came to tell you that the kingdom of God is near.

Their lack of food was part of the message:

God sent me to you with such urgency to heal and preach His nearness that I didn’t have time to hit the drive through or talk to anybody on the road

I heard a guy say once that he mentions Jesus in the first conversation he has with everyone he meets. It will only get harder after that. If you mention that you follow Jesus, somehow, from then on the new person you meet knows where you are coming from.

Think about the things that you would always mention upon first meeting someone. Do you mention your kids? Your job? What part of town you live in? I’m not saying you have to lay out the Four Spiritual Laws. It can be as simple as saying “oh yeah, a guy from my church works near there” or “That’s a name from the Bible!” When they tell you their name is Ebenezer.

You get the idea.

The Kingdom of God is nearby. Let’s walk and talk like it. In doing so, we might just see evidence that it’s true.

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