The Blessing of Hospitality “Be hospitable to one another, without complaining” (I Peter 4:9)
The Blessing of Hospitality The term “hospitality” is used four times in the New Testament. Twice it is used of the qualifications of elders (I Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8). Twice it is used of Christians (Rom. 12:3; I Peter 4:9). It is reflective of an attitude of love and service (Hebrews 13:1-2; I Timothy 5:10).
Understanding NT Hospitality Biblical hospitality surpasses a mere invitation to socialize with friends. “The ‘hospitality’ of today, by which is meant the entertainment of friends or relatives, hardly comes within the Biblical use of the term as denoting a special virtue” (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia).
Understanding NT Hospitality It is the caring for the needs of others. The term for our English term hospitality is a compound of two words philos, i.e. love or affection, and xenos, i.e. stranger. Expression of care for those who need support (Job 31:32; Genesis 18:1-5; 19:1-3). Hospitality can be neglected (Hebrews 13:2).
Understanding NT Hospitality It is the caring for the needs of others. Especially needful in an environment of persecution upon God’s people. While it is true that biblical hospitality entailed and comprehended much more than what we often consider “hospitality,” – if we fail in the smaller areas, how can we expect to fulfill our responsibilities in the larger matters.
The Significance of Hospitality A matter of justification or condemnation (Matthew 25:31-46). Commanded (I Peter 4:9) Characteristic of the Transformed Life (Romans 12:1, 2, 13).
The Potential of Hospitality Enables opportunity for Christians to be fellow-helpers of teachers of the truth (3 John 3-8; 2 John 9-11). Provides an opportunity to serve (I Timothy 5:10; Philemon 4-7; Acts 2:46; 4:32; Philippians 2:1-8). Ideal place to encourage the weak (Acts 20:20, 35; Romans 15:1-2).
Hospitality Reveals Our Heart “Without complaining” (I Peter 4:9). Hospitality flows out of “fervent love.” Means that which is “stretched out” (Thayer, 200); “eager, earnest” (AG, 245); “exerted to the limit of strength” (Lenski, 194). There is no passivity here, rather it is an active and energetic goodwill being exerted to the full in and among themselves. Expressed to brethren (4:9). This grace is it to be shown toward one another. Showing hospitality requires sacrifice.
Hospitality Reveals Our Heart “Given to Hospitality” “Pursuing as in a chase or hunt” (RWP). 1 to make to run or flee, put to flight, drive away. 2 to run swiftly in order to catch a person or thing, to run after. 2a to press on: figuratively of one who in a race runs swiftly to reach the goal. 2b to pursue (in a hostile manner). 3 in any way whatever to harass, trouble, molest one. 3a to persecute. 3b to be mistreated, suffer persecution on account of something. 4 without the idea of hostility, to run after, follow after: someone. 5 metaph., to pursue. 5a to seek after eagerly, earnestly endeavour to acquire.(Strong’s Dictionary) Passages with similar usage of the verb (I Corinthians 14:1; I Thessalonians 5:15; Hebrews 12:14; I Peter 3:11).
Christ Does Not Overlook Small Things Small things are not “small” to those who receive them (Mark 9:41). Indispensable Part of Discipleship: Sign of support of the truth and those who teach it. “If the house is worthy” (Matthew 10:5-15). Lydia’s invitation to those who taught her the truth (Acts 16:15). Philippian Jailor (Acts 16:30-34).
Are we serious about being New Testament Christians? Are we serious about supporting teachers of truth? Are we committed to loving one another and growing in our relationship with God?