Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Hospitality in the Bible

Romans 12:13 - Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another...distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.

Matthew 25:35-40 - For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, LORD, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Proverbs 31:18 - ...her candle goeth not out...  
To understand the meaning of this verse you must understand Jewish culture at the time it was written.  It was customary to keep a candle burning in the window of your home as a signal to passers by that you were home and they could stop if they needed help of any kind as there were not many hotels or restaurants.  It was not uncommon to help those in need of food or a place to rest for the night. It is obvious that the writer of Proverbs 31 wanted her son to have a "virtuous woman" and being hospitable was considered part of the package. 

If you stop and think about it, a vast majority took place in someone's home.

The Shunammite Woman - she hosted God's man every time he was in town and eventually had her husband build an extra room on to their home just for him. This was no small undertaking, and God blessed her and her family greatly for being hospitable.

Queen Esther invited Mordicai to a banquet (not to mention all the banquets her fun loving husband hosted!).

Rahab hid the spies on the roof of her house. 

Jael won a huge victory for Israel when she invited Sisera to her home and then nailed his head to the ground.  (I, personally, would not recommend this type of behavior with company, but... :O)

Mary and Martha - Jesus spent many hours in their home before and after the death and resurrection of their brother.

Zacchaeus - He didn't know Jesus and only hoped to get a glimpse of Him from his perch in the tree. Jesus called him by name and told him He was going to visit him at his house. It seems that Zacchaeus was more shocked that Jesus knew his name than that He had invited Himself over for lunch.

The Last Supper took place in what we know as "the Upper Room". This upper room was a part of someone's home. We are not told whos. Very possibly it was Peter's home as there is a story about his mother in law getting up and serving people immediately after Jesus raised her from the dead.  (That's some kind of work ethic right there!)  Maybe it was Mary's house.  We are not told who owned this mysterious "upper room", but we do know that it was used to feed Jesus and His disciples on the night before He was betrayed and later He met with the disciples there after His resurrection. It is probable that Jesus and His friends felt very comfortable in this home and met there often.

Peter went to the home of Rodah when he was freed from prison and found a group of his friends there praying for him.

The first church was started in homes. Many today would be aghast at the idea of holding prayer meetings or Bible studies in homes, but that was how the early church worked....daily and in every home....

What did Jesus say in Matthew25:40? "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

I truly want my home to be a place where others feel comfortable and Jesus is honored and lifted up. I cannot serve Jesus in my home in a physical since, but I can allow HIM to love others through me in my home.

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