Week 5, Day 2
Practicing Hospitality to be Rewarded in Heaven
By Josh McCormick
He Said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers (and sisters) or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. 13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”
These verses are straight forward enough but the kind of generosity Jesus is challenging his disciples with is radical and costly. The simple message is, as followers of Jesus Christ, we are to be a very generous people. Jesus here is calling us to a hospitality that is radical. He is calling us to be generous particularly to the poor and physically impaired, but more generally to those who are marginalized and on the fringes of society, people unable to repay our kindness. Jesus makes a point to remind us that generosity shown to others, that we are not rewarded for in this life, does not go unpaid. We will be rewarded in heaven. This reminder is an encouragement that our effort in loving people is not in vain, not to make our reward the focus but rather that loving people to the glory of God would be. It is also a reminder to store up our treasures in heaven rather than on earth (Matt. 6:19-21).
I find this bar of generosity Jesus is setting to be high. In my experience it doesn’t come without a real love for people that Jesus makes possible and continues to grow inside me. Practically I have probably had the most growth in this area in regards to homeless people whether through financial giving to charities or personal face-to-face interactions. I can’t say I have had the same success in showing hospitality to those with physical impairments. However, I think the focus and intent of Jesus’ words is to show generosity to the marginalized whether in my neighborhood or across the world. God has brought about growth in my life that has caused me to be more routinely generous to more groups of marginalized people. The challenge I see now is how to make that generosity both more regular and personal in my life. This rabbit hole of generosity that Jesus calls us to goes deep. No one arrives or can be satisfied that they do enough. Growth in this area goes hand-in-hand with realizing the depth of God’s love for you and me.
I encourage you to take the time to reflect on this call to generosity and to look honestly at your own heart and life.
Do you have a heart for the marginalized? If not, ask Jesus to help change your heart and mind. How might you love these people with your generosity?
What sorts of resources can you be generous with today? How can you use the time, treasure, and talent that God has given you to be generous today?