The Bible encourages us to show hospitality to others, to welcome them into our homes, to give them food, and meet their needs. But it goes beyond just being welcoming and caring to those around us. Take a look at Matthew 25:35-40. In that passage, Jesus said: ‘Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me’ (Matthew 25:40 NIV). When we’re helping others, we’re actually helping Jesus. He sees what we do, and the heart we do it with. But the Bible also says that ‘some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.’ This happened to Abraham and Sarah. ‘Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground…Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree’ (Genesis 18:2; 6 NIV). These men were actually angels, in fact one of them is believed to be God Himself, and they bought the news that Sarah would have a son (you can read the full story in Genesis 18). The word for angels in Hebrews 13:2 can be translated as ‘messengers’ or even ‘pastor’. The angels that we meet may not be angels as we imagine them, they may be other Christians. The Bible says: ‘Share with God’s people who need help’ (Romans 12:13 NCV). The second half of the verse says: ‘Bring strangers in need into your homes’. So it’s also worth remembering that when we show hospitality to those who aren’t yet Christians, we can show them the love of Jesus in a practical way.
Show some hospitality this week. Why not invite someone round for dinner? Or if cooking’s not your thing, have someone round for coffee.