EP57 Be Hospitable

My mother is probably one of the most hospitable people I have ever met. I know I’m probably biased in my opinion, but when family needs a bed they can usually find it at her house. When we need a place for a birthday party for someone in the family she’s happy to host, and thanksgiving for all the extended family in the area, at her house. Not just family though, twice while I was in high school she opened up our home to teenagers that had nowhere to live for one reason or another. Another time a complete stranger knocked on her door looking for a place to live. She was being kicked out of her home down the street because the owner decided to sell the property out from under her and my mom invited her in and gave her a place to live while she got on her feet.

 

1 Peter 4:9 tells us to, “Be hospitable to one another without complaining.” And being hospitable is one of the requirements listed in the bible for those who want to be leaders in the church. At the time of the early church when the New Testament authors were placing a premium on hospitality there was a climate of fear and persecution for Christians. Whole families were forced out of their homes and would wander the streets looking for shelter. At the same time the mavericks of the religion were travelling around preaching from city to city and needed a place to stay as well. The inn or motel/hotel that we think of today would have been far and few in-between and if you found one and it was full… well let’s just say, only pregnant woman get the manger treatment.

 

Hebrews 13:2 says, “Don’t neglect to show hospitality, for by doing this some have welcomed angels as guests without knowing it.” This is exactly what happened to Abraham and Lot in Genesis right before God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah and what happened to Manoah and his wife in Judges chapter 13, it says, “The Israelites again did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, so the Lord handed them over to the Philistines forty years. There was a certain man from Zorah, from the family of Dan, whose name was Manoah; his wife was unable to conceive and had no children. The angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, “It is true that you are unable to conceive, and have no children, but you will conceive and give birth to a son. Now please be careful not to drink wine or beer or to eat anything unclean; for indeed, you will conceive and give birth to a son. You must never cut his hair, because the boy will be a Nazirite to God from birth, and he will begin to save Israel from the power of the Philistines.” Then the woman went and told her husband, “A man of God came to me, He looked like the awe-inspiring angel of God. I didn’t ask him where he came from, and he didn’t tell me his name. He said to me, “You will conceive and give birth to a son. Therefore, do not drink wine or beer, and do not eat anything unclean, because the boy will be a Nazirite to God from birth until the day of his death.” Manoah prayed to the Lord and said, “Please, Lord let the man of God you sent come again to us and teach us what we should do for the boy who will be born.” God listened to Manoah, and the angel of God came again to the woman. She was sitting in the field, and her husband Manoah was not with her. The woman ran quickly to her husband and told him, “The man who came to me the other day has just come back!” So Manoah got up and followed his wife. When he came to the man, he asked, “Are you the man who spoke to my wife?” “I am,” he said. Then Manoah asked, “When your words come true, what will be the boy’s responsibilities and work?” The angel of the Lord answered Manoah, “Your wife needs to do everything I told her. She must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine or drink wine or beer. And she must not eat anything unclean. Your wife must do everything I have commanded her.” “Please stay here,” Manoah told him, “and we will prepare a young goat for you.” The angel of the Lord said to him, “If I stay, I won’t eat your food. But if you want to prepare a burnt offering, offer it to the Lord.” (Manoah did not know he was the angel of the Lord.) Then Manoah said to him, “What is your name, so that we may honor you when your words come true?” “Why do you ask my name,” the angel of the Lord asked him, “since it is beyond understanding.” Manoah took a young goat and a grain offering and offered them on a rock to the Lord, who did something miraculous while Manoah and his wife were watching. When the flame went up from the altar to the sky, the angel of the Lord went up in its flame. When Manoah and his wife saw this, they fell facedown on the ground. The angel of the Lord did not appear again to Manoah and his wife. Then Manoah realized that it was the angel of the Lord.”

 

In closing we look to Matthew 25:31-40, “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on His right and the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you took care of me; I was in prison and you visited me.” Then the righteous will answer Him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and take you in, or without clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick, or in prison, and visit you?” “And the King will answer them, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

 

Go out there and be hospitable to the least of these.

 

Until next time…

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