In quite a few missionary circles nowadays, there is emphasis on finding the “man of peace” or “son of peace” in Luke 10 as rendered below in the New King James Version:
After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. 2 Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. 3 Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves. 4 Carry neither money bag, knapsack, nor sandals; and greet no one along the road. 5 But whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ 6 And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest on it; if not, it will return to you. 7 And remain in the same house, eating and drinking such things as they give, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not go from house to house.8 Whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. 9 And heal the sick there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’
Quite a bit has been written about the importance of finding “the man of peace” in an area being evangelized from whose home workers can then proclaim the kingdom of God to the neighborhood. Few teachings, however, explain how we can effectively find this “man of peace.” This is likely a result of not understanding the Lord’s command in verse 9: Heal the sick who are there and tell them, “the kingdom of God has come near to you.”
Exactly what did the Lord mean in verse 9 by “heal the sick”? One top leader in India who gave us the privilege of training his workers said to us afterwards, “I always thought that ‘heal the sick’ obviously meant praying and asking God to heal the sick.” This is a result of traditional thinking which holds that since only God can do miracles, believers can only pray to God for the sick to be healed and then trust Him for the results—which are normally little to speak of. This longstanding tradition, as firmly entrenched as it is in the Church, is unscriptural and has resulted in missionaries and harvest workers falling far, far short of what God wants them to accomplish on the mission field for the Great Commission.
We will not go into the teaching on exactly how harvest workers can actually and effectively “heal the sick” as Jesus actually commanded the 72 workers. That is covered in The Elijah Challenge Training.
Rather we will give reports on how healing the sick can in fact lead to finding the “man of peace”—who along with his family will then open the way for the gospel to be proclaimed in a given area or neighborhood, eventually resulting in the planting of a house church. Below is one outstanding report from trained harvest workers in Orissa, India.
“One man suffered from diabetes, tuberculosis and high blood pressure. He is only 50 years old, but he looks ninety. When his condition became very serious, everyone thought he would certainly die. His family brought him back home from the hospital waiting for him to pass on. But it happened that two of our workers were visiting that village to meet with some elders. They requested our workers to pray over him. The man’s condition was so bad that when they approached him they were afraid that after prayer he would die and they would get in trouble with the family. Nevertheless they ministered to him as they had been trained to do. Praise God within a few minutes the man opened his eyes and sat up on the bed. He is now well and recovering. Now 25 families are gathering together for prayer to the Lord.”
In this way our workers found the “man of peace” in that area. A house church has now been planted there. Below is another report from February 2019 where the “man of peace” in an area called Pankrasus was discovered.
“A Hindu man was very sick and admitted to the hospital suffering from TB with his body swollen. He was treated in the hospital for 15 days, but there was not much change in his condition. Their doctor advised the family to take him to the hospital in the state hospital for more treatment, but they couldn’t afford it. He was very weak, and constantly coughing.
His wife heard about our workers’ ministry, and asked them to come to the hospital. Two of our trained workers went and ministered to him. Praise the Lord he stopped coughing immediately, and began to talk. The following day they brought him home. The swelling in his body had gone down. He and his family members accepted Jesus Christ. Our workers have started a fellowship there with two families joining them. They have believed on Jesus Christ after seeing such a powerful miraculous healing.”
For more recent reports from our trained harvest workers in Orissa, click on the first link below. The second link contains the announcement for our next Elijah Challenge Training.
INDIA: Nineteen house churches planted in the month of January 2019
The Elijah Challenge Training 2019: March 22-23 in Houston