By Florence Callender
According to 1 Peter 4:9, members of the early Christian church were expected to be hospitable toward each other without grumbling. To those who had heard the ethics of Jesus’ kingdom during the famous Sermon on the Mount, this would not have been new. They would have heard Him advise His followers to treat others how they wanted to be treated—a principle He referred to as “the law and the prophets.” Matt. 7:12.
This had been a consistent theme from the early records in the Bible. While the Israelites prepared for their journey through the wilderness, God reminded them that as a result of their sojourn in Egypt, they were to treat the strangers who lived with them as family members and to love them as they loved themselves. Lev. 19:34.
Biblically speaking then, hospitality is defined as loving strangers as you love yourself and treating them like family. The welcoming of others
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Florence Callender is a retired speech-language pathologist who enjoys researching and then sharing the good news through speaking, writing, and mission trips.