Summary: Hospitality may be a lost art, but it is a command of God that comes with many benefits.
What Jesus accuses the Pharisees of is not bad Theology, or unbelief, but lack of hospitality. Hospitality is a mark of people who serve God down through the ages.
7The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. 8Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. 11If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
Verse 9, Offer hospitality to one another
As far as cultures go, Canadians have become relatively inhospitable people. Many new immigrants quickly learn that when we say, "you’ll have to come and visit sometime," we really don’t mean it! Pam and I became acutely aware of the difference in hospitality customs when we were in Sri Lanka and people would invite us over when we had just met - and they meant it! But we are told here to practice hospitality with one another.
Why Offer Hospitality?
1. It is Commanded - vs.9,
To all Christians
Ro 12:9-13; 9Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
To elders & pastors - 1Ti 3:2, 1Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. 2Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, (see also Tit 1:8,)
To widows - 1Ti 5:9-10 9””No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, 10and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the saints, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.”
The widows list was a list of women eligible for help from the church – in order to receive help from the benevolent fund, you had to prove yourself hospitable!
Leviticus 19:33 " ’When an alien (stranger)lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. 34 The alien (stranger) living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.
In the Old Testament, Hospitality was expected!
Travelers would arrive in the town square at the end of the day, and expect someone to invite them into their home. - would be pretty ticked if it didn’t happen - most likely still practiced in NT - Jesus told His disciples to rely on the hospitality of others when he sent them out the first time.
It is an important command!
- 1 Peter 4:7 - The end of all things is near, therefore we should be about these things - thing God would have us do. - Important command!
2. It is an out-working of our Salvation
Verse 10 implies that we should let our hospitality be an extension or an overflow of God’s hospitality to us. “Be a good steward of God’s grace.“
God has taken us from being lost, and brought into his household as adopted children. We should at least be able to bring people into our household for lunch!
Romans 15:7 says “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”
2. It develops community (Koinonia)
This is one of the “One another” commands that teach how we should treat one another in the church
Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
- We are called into relationship with other Christians - what better way to form those relationships than through hospitality!
3. Hospitality is a witness to the world – “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.’’ (John 13:35 NIV) - neighbours will see the love between Christians evidenced by the hospitality, and they will be attracted to that love, and Christ.