Main Idea: Today my goal is to show you that hospitality is not just an optional Christian practice for people with nice homes. Rather it is such a fundamental expression of the gospel that Jesus partook in, gave, and commanded us to do.
3 main points:
- How did Jesus engage with hospitality?
- What does Jesus tell us to do about it?
- How do we offer hospitality?
Matthew 25:31-40 NLT
‘ “But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his 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 creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’ “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ ‘
How did Jesus engage with Hospitality?
Jesus received Hospitality
- The New Testament is rich with stories of Jesus receiving hospitality from others.
- Jesus’ posture when receiving hospitality was always that of humility and thankfulness.
- People understood the reciprocal nature of hospitality was such that Jesus always ended up giving the host more than they could have ever given Him.
- This friendship and relationship marked and changed those who entered hospitality with Jesus.
Jesus gave Hospitality
- Throughout scripture we see Jesus as an incredibly hospitable host. He provides food for the 5000’s, healing, forgiveness of sins, washes feet, and ultimately gives His own broken body and blood.
- Jesus shows us that hospitality is more than just a nice meal but that it is a disposition of openness towards the outsider rather than fear and suspicion.
- He does this by interacting with those whom society would deem unclean, untouchable, or even evil. Instead of condemnation we see Jesus offer them incredible hospitality and love.
- Henri Nouwen put it that our “Our hostilities can be converted into hospitality”.
What does Jesus tell us to do about it?
Jesus Commands Hospitality
- ‘You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them. ‘ John 13:13-17 NLT
- ‘Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” ‘ Matthew 22:37-40 NLT
- James Jesus’ brother puts it this way: “So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.” James 2:17
- James isn’t advocating for a works bases theology what he is saying is that if you claim to believe in Jesus then you must be changed by Jesus to live like Jesus.
How do we offer hospitality?
- To become a hospitable Christian, we need draw near to Jesus and experience His radical hospitality. It is this encounter with God that will change us and inspire us to be hospitable.
- “Beholding prayer changes how we experience God knowing us, and in turn, it gives us a whole new way of relating to and loving others. A way that reshapes traditional ways of seeing evangelism, making us hospitable people, sharing God’s nature with His truth and embodying the Kingdom we’re communicating in our jobs, vocations, and families” Page 110 Beholding deepening our experience in God by Strahan Coleman
- We need to see people through the lens of Jesus. Pete Scazzero calls this the “Thou” principle. It is choosing to see everyone’s God given identity before seeing all their faults, disagreements, and issues.
- “Practically, this means when we’re talking with those we disagree with, no matter how our arguments end, we never denigrate the dignity or fundamental goodness of one another. Even our enemies. Even our political opponents. It means that when we see another at our boarders, challenging our cultural norms, holding vastly different political views, asking more of our financial social situations than we think we can give, we’re seeing God and the opportunity to meet and care for Him”. Beholding deepening our experience in God by Strahan Coleman page 103
- The call of the gospel is to continue the story of Jesus through, discipleship, welcome, care, and hospitality for those around us.
- Christian hospitality is not just an optional extra for people with nice homes. It is a fundamental expression of salvation that begins in the heart, not the home, with an attitude of availability towards anyone in need.
- So, ask yourself what it might mean today, to engage with the strangers you meet as nothing less – no one less- than Jesus Christ himself?