Read: Matthew 26:17–19 and Luke 22:10–12
He replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house’ ” (Matthew 26:18 NIV).
Reflect: Hospitality is known as a great Southern tradition. We enjoy opening our homes to friends and families and take great efforts to prepare our houses to entertain our guests. It is much less common to open our homes to complete strangers.
When we have traveled overseas, we have often utilized websites where people offer their homes (for a fee) for us to stay. It’s always exciting to enter the door the first time and be welcomed by our host. They show us around . . . and leave us for our stay. Sometimes, there are fresh baked goods, guides of good supermarkets and restaurants, or little welcome gifts. By the time we have left the homes, we feel that we have come to know our host—even though we have really not spent much time with them. Their hospitality allowed us to experience a special time in our lives in a unique way.
In today’s verses, the host that night could have no idea what would happen in that room. Jesus would wash feet, share His deepest thoughts with His closest friends, and eat His last meal with those He had poured His life into for three years.
Hebrews 13:2 (NIV) comes to mind: “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”
Respond: For many of us, hospitality comes naturally. For others, it is a spiritual discipline that needs a little nurturing. What does the practice of hospitality mean for you? It might mean a mad dash to clean the bathroom sink or vacuum the floors or prepare some elegant meal that isn’t your norm, resulting in a huge mess in the kitchen that leaves you exhausted and resentful.
What if it just means having a door that swings open, welcoming any one in? (Just push that stack of books to one side and have a glass of water.) The Bible doesn’t suggest that the host had to do any preparation himself. He just opened the door.
Does it remind you of another door opening? “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me” (Revelation 3:20 NIV).
What are doors in your life that can be opened this Easter?
David Johnson, IMB missionary emeritus