He Who Receives You

He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me.

On a mission (Photo by Ben White on Unsplash)

Yeshua sent out pairs of his disciples on a mission to proclaim the good news of the kingdom. On entering a village, the two disciples were to seek out a worthy man who would offer them lodging and hospitality.

And whatever city or village you enter, inquire who is worthy in it, and stay at his house until you leave that city. As you enter the house, give it your greeting. If the house is worthy, give it your blessing of peace. But if it is not worthy, take back your blessing of peace. (Matthew 10:11-13)

Yeshua told them, “Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house’” (Luke 10:5), a Jewish salutation and blessing of peace upon the family. The Master said, “If a [son] of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you” (Luke 10:6). The idiom “son of peace” refers to friendly, affable person who gets along well with other people. If the disciples found a son of peace, they were to stay in his home as long as they remained in the area. If the household proved inhospitable, the disciples were to leave and let their peace return to them; their blessing of “shalom” upon the household would not take effect.

The Master did not want the disciples moving from house to house within the same community. The sages shared similar concerns: “A boarder who moves from house to house brings disrepute on himself and his hosts … a man should not change his lodging place” (b.Arachin 16b). The Master illustrated this principle by making His regular lodging in the house of Peter in Capernaum. Elisha did the same, always staying in the house of the Shunemite woman (2 Kings 4:8).

Yeshua said, “He who receives you receives Me” (Matthew 10:40). He regarded a person who hosted His disciples and heeded their words as if they had hosted Him and listened directly to His teaching. The Talmud explains that an apostle (shaliach) officially represents the one who sent him. “A man’s shaliach is like the man himself,” the rabbis said. Yeshua’s apostles officially represented Him, and receiving an apostle was the same as receiving the one who sent him. In a similar way, the Father sent Yeshua as His “sent one.” This explains why the Master said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me” (John 13:20).

Today the apostles are not with us, but we can still receive and host disciples of the Master who labor and minister for the kingdom. In addition, we receive the words of the apostles when we study their writings, and when we receive their teachings, we receive the teachings of the Master: “The one who listens to you listens to Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and he who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me” (Luke 10:16).

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