Summary: Titus 1:8
There is a story of a pastor who made it a habit of being hospitable and visiting his church members on Saturday morning. He came upon one house were it was obvious that someone was home. Lights we on, the car sat in the drive way. The pastor knocked several times but no one came to the door. Finally the pastor took out his card and wrote Rev. 3:20 on the back and stuck it in the door. Now Rev. 3:20 reads; "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me."
The next day, Sunday, the card turned up in the collection plate. It was then passed along to the pastor. Right below what the pastor wrote was another scripture reference, Gen. 3:10; which reads; "I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself."
Please turn with me to this morning verse. That would be Titus chapter 1 verse 8. That is page 1032 in your pew Bibles. We are finally out of verse 7, which took a while to get through but we made it. In verse 8 Paul continues with the qualifications for elders, or bishops. In verse 7 Paul states don’t be this and this "but (be) hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled,"
Notice that Paul begins to discuss the positive qualifications that elder should have. In verse 7 Paul uses a lot of nots. Things that a elder should not be, now Paul gets into what a elder should be. Today we are going to be focusing on the first phrase of that passage, were Paul states that a elder is to be hospitable.
That word "hospitable" comes from the Greek word, "PHILO-ZENIA". Which is a combination of twos "PHILOS", which means what? Loving. And "XENOS". Does any one know what that means. It means "stranger" or "strange". So what Paul is stating is that elders are to be "lovers of strangers" or I suppose you can say lovers of the strange.
Kind of like me, strange but not a stranger.
Now as with the negative things that we saw in verse 7, the positive things beginning in verse 8 are also traits that all Christians are to have. If you look at 1 Peter 4:9 we are told; "Be hospitable to one another without grumbling." It is the same Greek word, "PHILO-ZENIA" that is in Titus as 1 Peter 4:9. So we are all called to be lovers of strangers, hospitable to all.
One thing that every Christian should learn is that Scripture interprets Scripture. By far the best means in understanding what scripture is saying to us to look other portions of scripture that deal with the same issue or subject.
As we study what exactly it Paul means in verse 8 when he commands that elder be hospitable, we are going to look at a passage that will help us understand it. It is a very familiar passage it is found in Luke chapter 10 verses 25-37, the story of the good Samaritan. If you would like to turn with me to that passage it is page 899 in the pew Bibles.
Listen as I read this passage; "And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"
He said to him, "What is written in the law? What is your reading of it? So he answered and said, " ’You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ’your neighbor as yourself.’ And He said to him, "You have answered rightly; do this and you will live." But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"
Then Jesus answered and said: "A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. "So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. "On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ’Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ "So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?" And he said, "He who showed mercy on him." Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."