“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
This is the first way our writer gives us to show brotherly love. Its necessity in Biblical times cannot be overstated. It was a general understanding among people who lived in harsh climates and difficult landscapes. Jesus uses that general understanding to make points about helping others in His many stories. Think of the desperation of the man who had visitors in the middle of the night without bread to feed them or the traveler who was ignored by the religious people — the washing of His feet with the use of a woman’s hair another.
Angels have appeared unannounced multiple times in the Scriptures. When a stranger shows up to our door or place of business or church, how do we know for sure they are not sent by God to give us hospitality opportunities? Do we offer food to eat, a place to rest, safety from the storm, or a listening ear? Rather than think of this as a test by God, think of it as a gift from God, an opportunity to serve Him through serving people, even if they are unknown to us. This is one scripture I saw my mother live out. I often thought she overdid it, but she was a generous person, especially to those who demonstrated need.
Task for Today: Be on the lookout today for your stranger. It may be an opportunity to entertain angels, and if it isn’t, it will be an opportunity to entertain one of God’s children. Pray today, “Lord, send me a hospitality opportunity today.”