“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”
-1 John 1:7
Hospitality in Jesus’ day was such an important part of the religious and cultural life of his people. In fact, today it’s still very much that way in the Middle East. It’s all about hospitality. As I was walking in Jerusalem with a great supporter of our ministry, Jan van den Bosch, he shared with me about the amazing hospitality of the Palestinian Muslims, and he said, “Look, I’ll prove it to you.” He walked up to a random door, knocked, and a man opened the door. I don’t know how this is going to go.
Jan says something to the man in Arabic, and this man invites us into his home with a smile and embrace. This total stranger welcomed us at his table, brought us tea and refreshments, and asked us questions. It was like being at a five-star restaurant, amazing hospitality and compassion. What I didn’t understand until later was that this is a part of his religious duty – to welcome the outsider.
This is how it was in Jesus’ day for most Jews. Hospitality was the heartbeat of the Jewish view of compassion towards the alien. Jesus says that, essentially, evangelism is like inviting someone into your house and then offering your guest treasures old and new.
PRAYER: Dear Lord, may my life and my home have an open door to others, especially those in need of you in their lives. Amen.
REFLECTION: What has the story about the Palestinian man’s hospitality inspired you to do?