Being Hospitable

January 26, 2008 Luke 10:30-37

 

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between hospitality and entertaining?

The following differentiation between "hospitality" and "entertaining" was made by Karen Mains in {Open Heart, Open Home} (Elgin, IL: Cook, 1976):

Entertaining says, "I want to impress you with my home, my clever decorating, my cooking." Hospitality, seeking to minister, says, "This home is a gift from my Master. I use it as He desires." Hospitality aims to serve. Entertaining puts things before people. "As soon as I get the house finished, the living room decorated, my house- cleaning done - then I will start inviting people. Hospitality puts people first. "No furniture - we'll eat on the floor!" "The decorating may never get done - you come anyway." The house is a mess - but you are friends - come home with us." Entertaining subtly declares, "This home is mine, an expression of my personality. Look, please, and admire." Hospitality whispers, "What is mine is yours."

The prevalence of persecution, poverty, orphans, and widows in the early church made it necessary for Christians to open their homes to others. In addition, traveling Christians were dependent on the hospitality of other Christians because most of the public inns were brothels in which lodgers were in danger of being robbed, beaten, or solicited to evil.

Luke 10:30-37

Jesus replied and said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead.“And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.“Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.“But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion,and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him.“On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.’“Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?”And he said, “The one who showed mercy toward him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.”

What was true in the early church is true for Faith Baptist, for you today.

As our church grows new people are coming in all the time. Many are looking for love. God knows people are looking for love. God has called and commanded His people to be hospitable, it is a mark of a true believer to be hospitable.

Romans 12:13says we are to be "practicing Hospitality".

As we all look to start strong in this new year we need to be thinking about how we can love others.

                                     This week’s key question asks if you are practicing hospitality.

Luke 10:30-37

Jesus replied and said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead.“And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.“Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.“But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion,and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him.“On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.’“Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?”And he said, “The one who showed mercy toward him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.”

All Christians are commanded to showhospitality.

Biblical Examples

  1. Paul listed "given to hospitality" as a commandfor every true believer.

Romans 12:13 contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.

(2) Hebrews 13:2

Hebrews 13:2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.

The writer has Abraham and Sarah in mind, who graciously served a meal to three strangers only to discover that they were none other than God Himself and two holy angels, who came in the form of men (Gen. 18:1-8).

(3) 1 Peter 4:9

1 Peter 4:9 Be hospitable to one another without complaint.

Our hospitality must flow from willing and gracious motives.

Hospitality goes beyond opening your home to strangers it includes opening your heart as well. Sometimes that's the best avenue for evangelism. We need to be sensitive to the spiritual and physical needs of others.

Introduction

Surprisingly the definition is not what one would expect to find

Definition:

The Greek word translated "given to hospitality" is composed of the words:

  • xenos ("stranger")
  • phileo ("to love" or "show affection").

It means to love strangers.

Are You Hospitable in the Biblical Way?

Quite often I hear it said that so and so has the gift of hospitality because she is a great cook or because he likes to have friends over for a visit. As gracious and important as those virtues are, they are not examples of biblical hospitality.

Biblical hospitality is showing kindness to strangers, not friends. In Luke 14:12-14 Jesus says,

"When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return, and repayment come to you. But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous".

  • I realize that showing love toward strangers requires vulnerability, and can even be dangerous because some may take advantage of your kindness.
  • While God doesn't ask us to discard wisdom and discernment in dealing with strangers

(cf. Matthew 10:16“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.

  • He does require us to love them.
  • How about you? Do you practice biblical hospitality?

The Biblical Mandate to be Hospitable

Romans 12:13 contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.

1 Timothy 3:2 An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,

1 Timothy 5:10 having a reputation for good works; and if she has brought up children, if she has shown hospitality to strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has assisted those in distress, and if she has devoted herself to every good work.

Titus 1:8 but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled,

Hebrews 13:2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.

1 Peter 4:9 Be hospitable to one another without complaint.

  1. Explained
  2. That is a strong statement encouraging Christians to love strangers.
  3. Hospitality is not to be done reluctantly, saying,

"Oh brother, we've got someone else coming over! Do we have to share our food with them? We can't keep this up!"

  • We are to pursue hospitality, which is an expression of love towards strangers.

Can you give an example of where you have demonstrated love and kindness to a stranger

In Paul's day, if you didn't stay in someone's home, you had to stay at inns, which were not usually safe places. There was a great need for lodging as persecution forced Christians to relocate. Furthermore, Christians opened their homes for traveling preachers since that was the best place for them to stay.

  1. Expressed

The New Testament is filled with exhortations for Christians to be hospitable.

  1. An elder is to be "aloverof hospitality"; not a reluctant lover of strangers, but one who eagerly loves them. He is to be willing to share what he has with them.

Titus 1:8but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled,

  1. Use hospitality one to another without grudging.

1 Peter 4:9Be hospitable to one another without complaint.

  • The assumption is that showing hospitality isn't always going to be easy for us. Therefore Peter says to do it without grudging.
  • " We can do it because we don't have any choice, but we ought to be eager to minister to strangers.
  • We ought to be generous to guests, giving them the best of what we have as we share our love with them.
  • Paul said:

2 Timothy 1:16-18The Lord grant mercy to the house of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains; but when he was in Rome, he eagerly searched for me and found me— the Lord grant to him to find mercy from the Lord on that day—and you know very well what services he rendered at Ephesus.

  • The house of Onesiphorus served the needs of Paul with gracious hospitality. That's one practicalChristian duty.
  • Luke 14:12-14

Luke 14:12-14And He also went on to say to the one who had invited Him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, otherwise they may also invite you in return and that will be your repayment. “But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

  • Jesus said that when you have a feast, don't call your rich friends or family.
  • Rather, have the handicapped and the poor over because other people get invited all the time.
  • Invite those who don't usually get invited.

Conclusion

Recognize that everyone in the family of Christ is a partner with you. If they have a need, you should share with them, since, in a sense, what you own is theirs as well. Learn to cultivate a spirit of love toward those who aren't a part of your inner circle of family and friends. Reach out to them eagerly, without grudging. That is your Christian duty to others. But to be committed to these things, you've got to learn to do what God wants you to do. God, help us to live that kind of disciplined life! May we eagerly come under the standards of Scripture as we live by them with joy and gratitude!