Commentary on "Evangelism and Witnessing as a Lifestyle"
Day 5: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - A Hospitable Lifestyle
As an extension of the previous themes of compassion and caring we are taking a look at hospitality being part of our lifestyle. The lesson defines hospitality as including "areas of acceptance, welcoming, openness, caring, generosity, kindness, and friendship".
Mark 5:1-19 is cited as an example of hospitality where Jesus ministers to the needs of the demon possessed man who was living in the tombs.
While hospitality certainly is a desirable habit for any Christian who really cares for the lost and perishing of this world to cultivate this text is a rather odd reference used to support the theme. All through the critical part of this account the only ones Jesus addresses are the demons who possess the man. Jesus speaks directly to and 'compassionately’ allows the demons to possess a herd of pigs when Jesus forces them to leave the man. Since the pigs immediately drowned the demons were again without a 'home’. Not until the end of the account do we have any record of Jesus speaking directly to the man and then denies the man his request for to get in the boat and come with him. Superficially at least, this doesn’t sound like an act of hospitality. Instead, Jesus tells him to go home and tell his friends what the Lord has done for him.
There are many and much greater illustrations of Christian hospitality that we could be looking at such as has been given to us in Acts Chapter Nine where the apostles take in Saul, who up until then had been their mortal enemy.
You might even say Jesus was being hospitable to the thief on the cross when he promise him he would be with him that very day in Paradise.
And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43 ESV)
There is no greater hospitality than this. Because of the hospitality of Jesus those who are Christians will never be separated from Jesus and the love of Jesus. At physical death, at no time will you cease to exist when you accept the benefits of the gospel message and have joined the kingdom of God.
Copyright 2012 BibleStudiesForAdventists.com. All rights reserved. Revised April 17, 2012. This website is published by Life Assurance Ministries, Camp Verde, Arizona, USA, the publisher of Proclamation! Magazine. Contact email: BibleStudiesForAdventists@gmail.com.
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