Open Day 5 Hospitality That Loves: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Today is 2-for-1 Friday!
Check out Hospitality That Loves!

The Questions

1) What is the context of these verses?

2) How can I follow God practically in hospitality?

3) How does generosity tie into a spiritual walk with the Lord?

Matthew 25:31-46

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne.32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate them one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

35 “‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you took care of me; I was in prison and you visited me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and take you in, or without clothes and clothe you?39 When did we see you sick, or in prison, and visit you?’

40 “And the King will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then he will also say to those on the left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels! 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger and you didn’t take me in; I was naked and you didn’t clothe me, sick and in prison and you didn’t take care of me.’

44 “Then they too will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or without clothes, or sick, or in prison, and not help you?’

45 “Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Original Intent

1) What is the context of these verses?
The Gospel according to Matthew gives much proof and argument to who Jesus is as God and Messiah. Matthew is writing as a Jewish follower of Christ, to a largely Jewish audience, so he hones in on how Old Testament teachings tie with Christ as the promised Messiah in the New Testament. Beginning in Matthew 22, Jesus begins to provide multiple parables of what the Kingdom of God is like while also contrasting the hearts of repentant believers to the non-repentant unbelievers. His teachings point towards various outpouring characteristics or “fruit” of those who have surrendered their lives to the lordship of Christ. In chapter 25, there are parables of being watchful and laboring to build the Kingdom until Jesus’ return. The chapter closes out with the parable in today’s passage as it depicts the final sifting of God’s righteous people from the unrighteous who have rejected Christ’s sacrifice.
This parable specifically focuses on the outward service as a fruitful sign of those who live a life with heart to honor God. Christ’s parable points out that God’s people are those who provide practical care for those in need around them. They are not doing so in order to earn salvation. Rather, they lovingly act from the over-flow of being forgiven in Christ.

2) How can I follow God practically in hospitality?
God is the provider for everything we have. God’s provision is done in a manner that elevates human dignity (because only humans are made in His image, Genesis 1:26) and encompasses relationship. This is reflected in His concern for people to be clothed and fed. In today’s passage, notice the emphasis Christ places on caring for other PEOPLE. Though animals are to be treated with care, they are not given equal concern. Examples of God’s provision for His people are seen consistently and unbroken throughout the Old and New Testament. Bible Study Tools website offers an extensive list of God’s provisions through hospitality in the Bible. Examples include God’s provision of food and water for the whole nation of Israel as HE moved them from one land to unknown territories. God did this in a relational or discipling manner.
In the New Testament, Jesus did not have His own house where He invited others. Yet, that did not stop Him from also providing in a hospitable manner. He made sure His following crowds were fed fish and bread. He often touched the seemingly untouchable when providing healing, always treating them with dignity in a way society no longer would.

3) How does generosity tie into a spiritual walk with the Lord?
Jesus is often considered by non-Christians as a good teacher of love, because He did not let social and economical hierarchies trump His concern for outsiders. He labored long days teaching and healing the crowds of people who were desperate for help. But His outward acts of charity and hospitality were never done to feel good about Himself or to give back to society. Each act was to point people towards repentance and right relationship with God. Each act was to confirm His deity as God and the only plausible sacrifice to atone for the sins of the world. The healing miracles Christ performed were intertwined with teachings on the Kingdom of God.  When He conversed with people behind the scenes (like the Samaritan woman or Nicodemus), He offered provision and right relationship with God through repentance that is liking to a re-birth of human nature.

Everyday Application

1) What is the context of these verses?
Matthew 25:31-46 lists specific outward qualities of those who will inherit His kingdom. This parable explicitly states, “you gave Me food… you gave Me drink… you welcomed Me… you clothed Me… you visited Me and came to Me.”
This is not a guide to be saved. Rather, the parable is rewarding those who are acting out of such a heart of humility, these sheep do not even recognize their own actions as “good works”. Their hearts are so set on Christ that their acts of compassion, sacrifice, and provision for others is not thought of as a specifically “good” act deserving of merit. They understand that nothing they could do could ever earn them righteousness. Because of the Holy Spirit’s renewing work in a believer’s life, the natural outflow of their lives is gratitude to Christ. Do you see the vast sea of forgiveness God has given you in Christ? Is your charity of clothing and food for a hope of religious gain or simply for joy because you get to share God’s provision with others? When God calls you to share with more than you are comfortable, remember He is the source. This truth is what frees us to give cheerfully and love beyond our comfort zone.

2) How can I follow God practically in hospitality?
There are many aspects of hospitality upon which to reflect in Jesus’ parable here, but the verses above are honing in specifically on provision. The people of God provide for one another. Whether it’s a physical need or through spiritual encouragement or biblical teaching, true followers have an affectionate bent towards providing for one another. The vast variety of needs people have is overwhelming on the large scale, but start with those right in front of you, the church member who is paying off medical bills, the single person trying to figure out life, or the neighbor who lives alone.
In a culture fascinated with material beauty and outward perfection, hospitality can feel overwhelming. One may feel frustrated for lacking space, cleanliness, ideal décor, cooking skills, having financial or time constraints, or simply being self-consciousness. Though these are real struggles and concerns, Jesus didn’t let such things be a hindrance to His own hospitality. Refocus your hospitality through His lens! He is calling us to relationship with Himself and deeper, discipling relationships with others. He is calling us to model Christ in the way we behave at home. Open your dinner table of chicken nuggets and spaghetti to the burdened heart. Show them Christ in the way you speak to your husband, children, roommate, or parents. Point them to Scripture of God’s character and provision, and the Lord will faithfully build His kingdom through your obedience to be open handed!

3) How does generosity tie into a spiritual walk with the Lord?
Charity is defined mainly by giving basic necessities to those in need, often through money. In the English dictionary, hospitality is defined more as housing someone or welcoming someone with generosity.  New Testament Christians set examples of providing charity in combination with relationships that encourage their guest in the Lord. “Whatever you do, do as unto the Lord.” Providing generously in the Lord is a spiritual walk of trusting God’s provision to care for you as the giver while you extend His providence to those in need. It’s a journey of watching God draw others to Himself through your words and actions of Gospel truth.

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Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

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Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

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