We belong to the great body of Christians through all history, and this reality should be reflected in our love for all faithful churches.
Scripture: 3 John
- John writes in the context of the vast Roman Empire, connected by roads and inns.
- Hospitality was a requirement of the New Testament church, because the inns of the day were not very hospitable.
- Hospitality is a demonstration of the command to love one another (1 Peter 4:8-9).
- We are to show hospitality liberally despite the dirt, wear, breakage, or security risks.
- Hospitality is possibly even an opportunity to honour angelic beings (Hebrews 13:1-2).
- In Matthew 25, Jesus says that showing hospitality, even to the least brother or sister, is to honour the Lord.
- Gaius is commended for receiving strangers and for sending them out, i.e., providing them with lodging, food, and provisions for the next stage of their journey.
- Gaius is a walker in the truth, and a worker for the truth.
- One of the marks of a mature Christian is a growing catholicity.
- We belong to the great body of Christians through all history, and this reality should be reflected in our love for all faithful churches.
- The fellowship of believers is a precious means of grace. We are to live together and work together for the cause of Christ.
- John expects the brothers to work together; our task is too great for one church.
- Against Diotrephes, John writes that he wants to be the center, and he refuses to show hospitality to the brothers.
- Hospitality was important particularly because the church met in homes.
- The great need of our churches is that they be centers of truth and centers of love.
- Showing hospitality to a stranger or a fellow Christian is a great way to show love.
- If we are Christians today, it's because God was once hospitable to us.
- While we were still hostile toward God, He came and made us to sit down with Him, and to enjoy the fellowship meal with Him.
- What was the scope of hospitality practiced in the New Testament Church?
- How is hospitality important in today's culture?
- What opportunities do I have to serve strangers? Christian brothers?
- Am I hesitant to share my home and resources because of the risks?
- How does recognizing God's gracious provision of salvation help me to practice open-handed generosity toward those God sends my way?
- Do I pray that the Lord would send workers into the harvest? See Matthew 9:37.