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Part 11 - Matthew 10:11-13 - SHALOM - SUPERGLUE FOR THE SOUL!
I work in a building called THE SHALOM CENTRE in Sydney. Recently Kathryn, a Jewish girl said she found it unusual that we would call a building Shalom, since it is a Jewish term for saying HI AND GOODBYE. It literally means "PEACE BE WITH YOU". Shalom is a Biblical word.
This got me thinking and so I did a bit of research into the word Shalom to discover more.
My grandson received a McDonalds toy not long back that came in separate pieces. It was a little super hero but when I put the pieces together, they kept falling apart. But there is always the Super glue and before long, I almost became one of the pieces of this action figure. When we are talking about the word peace in the Bible, it is a little like that glue. In the New Testament the word for Peace comes from a root verb which means "to join or bind together something which has been separated or divided." When we speak of "HAVING IT ALL TOGETHER" we are speaking of PEACE in our life - the sense of inner rest, well being and everything working together in harmony. When we speak of "FALLING APART" we have inward DIVISION OR DISSENSION, but SHALOM speaks of BEING RECONCILED with God and having peace within and without, of being whole and unified.
Acts 10:36 (NLT) says "This is the message of Good News for the people of Israel-that there is PEACE WITH GOD through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all."
Now you may wonder why I went on this hunt for the meaning of the word for peace. Well, when I read Matthew 10:11-15 (NLT) I was intrigued by the BLESSING OF PEACE that the disciples were asked to leave in the homes of those who were considered worthy...
Jesus says "Whenever you enter a city or village, search for a WORTHY PERSON and stay in his home until you leave town. When you enter the home, give it your blessing. If it turns out to be a worthy home, let your blessing stand; if it is not, take back the blessing" (Matthew 10:11-13 -NLT).
Considering the disciples were coming with the message of how we can have PEACE WITH GOD, then the greeting they were asked to give is significant. Romans 5:1 (NLT) says "...we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us." Colossians 1:19-20 (NLT) says "For God in all His fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through Him God RECONCILED everything to Himself (that's the superglue factor). He MADE PEACE with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ's blood on the cross." The Cross enables everyone to receive the BLESSING OF PEACE WITH GOD.
They were to seek out the WORTHY PERSON. Who exactly is this WORTHY PERSON? Jesus uses a common Jewish term. A worthy person is a person who is HOSPITABLE TO STRANGERS. Jesus told them to seek out the WORTHY person, not necessarily the WEALTHY person with the best accommodation. Not just the master chefs. Worthy of what? They are worthy of receiving THE BLESSING OF PEACE.
Romans 12:13 (NLT) says "When God's people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality." 1 Peter 4:9 (NLT) says "Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay." Just as a "workman is WORTHY of his wages" (Matthew 10:10), those who GIVE SUPPORT to the disciples as they serve the Lord are also called WORTHY of a GREETING OF PEACE - the BLESSING OF SHALOM.
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