Monday, October 9, 2017

Lending Freely

Jesus taught that entertaining one’s own enemies was the greatest honor of all.  In Luke 6:32-35 he reasoned, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.”

In Jewish and Islamic cultures one is expected to boast about their own hospitality, nor should one be hospitable out of an expectation for remuneration.  The great reward of hospitality is that it draws one closer to God.  True hospitality flows naturally from the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control that are the fruits of the Holy Spirit. A good host imitates and pleases God. This was taught throughout the Middle East before the birth of Jesus Christ, and Jesus developed the idea further in his parables and exemplified it in his life.