The Gift of Hospitality
By Dr. Ray Melugin


The gift of hospitality is that supernatural ability to provide an open house and a warm welcome for those needing food, and or lodging. Usually, more women than men possess this gift, though all believers are to be hospitable.

Galations 6:2, 10, tells us to bear each other's burdens, do good to all men, especially to those of the household of faith. This involves using the gift of hospitality.


I. Hospitality: It's meaning

A. The main part of the word "hospitality," is "hospital."
Note: The term comes from the Latin word, "hospice", meaning guests. Religious leaders of the 5th century established international guest houses used by Pilgrims, crusaders, and other travelers. After the crusades, most of these institutions began to specialize in care of the poor, sick, aged, and crippled. Originally it meant a haven for guests.

B. Peter seems to link hospitality with the gifts. (I Peter 4:9-11)
Note: Though not include in Paul's lists of gifts, the context of the above verses in Peter calls for its consideration as a separate gift. An amplification of the verse would read, "Gladly open your homes and welcome each other as guests, especially those who need a meal or a room overnight - and don't complain about the inconvenience."

C. One requirement of a pastor is that he must be a "lover of hospitality." (Titus 1:8, 1 Timothy 3:2)

D. To qualify for aid from the church, a widow must have "lodged strangers." (1 Timothy 5:10)

E. Paul wants all believers to be "given to hospitality." (Romans 12:13)


II. New Testament Examples of Hospitality

A. Our Lord was always a welcome guest at the home of Mary and Martha. (Luke 10:38-39)

B. "Simon a tanner" showed hospitality to Peter (Acts 9:43)

C. Cornelius gave Peter an invitation to "tarry certain days" in his home. (Acts 10:48)

D. Paul accepted the invitation of Lydia for he and his team to abide at her house. (Acts 16:15)

E. The Philippian jailer brought Paul and Silas into his house and fed them. (Acts 16:34)

F. Paul stayed in several homes on his last trip back to Jerusalem. (Acts 21: 4,7, 8, 16)

G. Paul hints he received hospitality from Phebe of Rome. (Romans 16:1-2)

H. At the very moment Paul was writing to the Romans, he acknowledged that he was the guest of Gaius. "Gaius, mine host...saluteth you" (Romans 16:23)


III. Limitations on Hospitality

A. Truth was not be sacrificed for hospitality or love (2 John 10-11)
1. False teachers were not to receive hospitality as it would be a form of support. (2 Peter 2:1-2 tells of false teachers, their subtle ways and final end.)

2. Hospitality to genuine teachers helped spread the truth; helping false teachers spread error.

3. Diotrophes was rebuked for not receiving the brethren, and also for excommunicating those who wanted to exercise their gift. (3 John verses 9-10)


IV. The Blessings of Hospitality

A. Upon the recipient
1. The gift provides a warm kind of fellowship for both parties.

Note: Even evangelists, missionaries, bible conference speakers, etc. get lonely and in need of homey, relaxing fellowship.

2. Helps economically with the Christian brother or sister.

3. both can be encouraged in the things of God.

B. Upon the host
1. Jesus said to invite those who cannot repay. (Luke 14:12 He will repay)

2. By showing hospitality to strangers, we may get divine directions, blessing.

Note: Hebrews 13:2 "thereby some have entertained angels unawares" This reference is to Abraham entertaining strangers an discovering them to be angels. (Genesis 18:2, 16, 22; 19:1) Since angels bear God's message and purpose, the entertainment of angels will bring the atmosphere of heaven into the hosts home.

3. By opening their home to Jesus, Mary and Martha, later received the blessing of their brother Lazarus alive again from the dead (John 11:43-44)

4. Salvation came to the house of Zaccheus the day he entertained Jesus. (Luke 19:9)

5. hesitant Ananias showed hospitality to Paul, and later was blessed by hearing him preach Christ in the synagogue. (Acts 28:7-8)

6. Plubius, the governor of Melita, received Paul and his shipwrecked partners lodging them "three days courteously." (Acts 28:7-8)

Note: An unanticipated blessing came to Pbulius in the healing of his seriously ill father through the pErnester of Paul.


V. The Need for Hospitality

A. In early days of the church.
1. When the Lord sent out the 70, he expected them to be entertained. (Luke 10:1-6)

2. Believers expected travelers to bring word of Christ's work in other places.

B. In modern times
1. Traveling groups, choirs, gospels teams, could not afford to pay motel and food bills, and travel expense, thus hurting the ministry.

2. Many churches have "guest houses" for special speakers, saving motel dollars for both the church and the speaker.

3. In exercising the gift, the aim should be to appreciate each guest and help


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