“When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus what they had done. Then he took them with him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida, but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.” Luke 9:10–11 (niv)
I’m great at hospitality—when it’s on my terms. When I pick the date and have time to prepare. When the casserole turns out perfectly. When everyone gets along and conversation flows. We have friends with large familes, who have different approaches to hospitality. They often chat with another family at church on Sunday morning, and issue a spur-of-the-moment invite to lunch. No special preparations, just simple fare—even perhaps smaller portions because of the extra mouths to feed. No time to coach the kids to behave. No time to dust before guests arrive. Just pure welcome into their lives. They amaze and inspire me.
So does Jesus. In the account in Luke, He has taken His disciples aside. He needed time with them for the important work of teaching and training them. perhaps this was also one of the times Jesus drew aside to spend time in prayer. At this point in His ministry, crowds begged for healing and miracles, and religious leaders badgered Him and set rhetorical traps. I can imagine that He was looking forward to some quiet conversation with friends in Bethsaida and a little rest.
Yet when the crowds figured out where He was and came clamoring, He welcomed them. Those words warm my heart. Jesus doesn’t view me as a pest. He doesn’t set terms for His hospitality. He opens His arms and welcomes me.
His example also challenges me. Will I focus on protecting my “me time” or will I respond openly and warmly when I’m interrupted? Will I focus on controlling the parameters of my hospitality, or will I adapt and change plans when a new opportunity to serve others pops up?
FAITH STEP: When someone interrupts you today, welcome them warmly and invite Jesus to use you to bring comfort and healing.
Written by Sharon Hinck
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