I like Luke’s version better. Like Luke 10:1-12, these verses offer instructions for the sent-ones, the apostles. Jesus sends the apostles out to travel light with Christ’s gift of peace and a simple yet profound message: the kingdom of heaven has come near! I believe God continues to send us out, like lambs in the midst of wolves, with this message and gift of peace.
I find one significant difference between these accounts. In Luke’s version, whichever house you enter, you enter with the gift of peace and stay there. There’s no looking for who in the house is worthy. In Matthew’s version, you find out who in it is worthy.
So who, exactly, is worthy?
Maybe the clues to those who Jesus finds worthy of blessing are found in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount: the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, the persecuted, the reviled.
Maybe Matthew’s version isn’t so bad after all.
Thank you, Jesus, that your gift of peace is not just for me, but for all your lambs. Give me the wisdom of serpents and innocence of doves that I might bear your peace in the midst of wolves. Amen. — ANS