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?"