Entertaining Angels Hebrews Chapter 13: Part 1

5 January, 2022

Hebrews 13:1-3 Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.

Usually children born to the same father and mother are addressed as brothers and sisters, and in the spiritual realm we are all children of one Father, and we are brothers and sisters to one another in Christ! I was deeply touched by the way people addressed one another as brother/ sister when I became a part of the Christian fellowship and today many address me as Bro. Damien. So when we meet and greet another believer, we’re actually seeing another person/ sibling who is born of God. The Author exhorts siblings in Christ Jesus to keep on loving each other i.e. not to stop loving

The New Testament was originally written in the Greek language, and if we scrutinize the words mentioned in Greek for love there are four kinds of love:
  1. Eros - sexual love, 
  2. Storge - family love, 
  3. Philio/ Philia - brotherly and friendship love, 
  4. Agape love - the superlative degree of love, one way love, giving love, perfect love, God’s pure, immeasurable, everlasting love towards mankind. 
In this context, the author encourages to love one another with the Philio love - brotherly and friendship love.
In those days, church fathers and apostles instructed the church believers to show hospitality to strangers - just as we have hotels and motels today, people traveling to far away places in those times would stop by inns to freshen up. But due to the immoral activities that would happen in the inns, the author encouraged the believers to stop by other believers' houses rather than inns to refresh. People were instructed to open their homes and set their dining tables for church believers from afar to halt and as a soul winning tool by welcoming strangers and sharing the gospel while they sit and dine with the hosts. The church fathers gave the believers specific instructions (manuals) for welcoming strangers, so that they’d not be deceived and end in trouble; but it was a command that every believer had to follow.
Romans 12:13 - Share with the Lord's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
1 Timothy 3:2 - Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach
Titus 1:7,8 - For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, 8 but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled
1 Peter 4:9 - Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.

In short, practicing hospitality is the reflection of brotherly love; by which we’d love and welcome and help as per others’ need.

Genesis 18:1,2 - The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.

Abraham and Sarah didn't know these three men, but they hurried up and prepared a sumptuous meal for the men and they only knew towards the end that they’d actually welcomed God and in general, people say that it was the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit of the blessed Trinity that visited Abraham and Sarah in human form.

Genesis 19:1,2 - The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. “My lords,” he said, “please turn aside to your servant’s house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning.”

It says two of those angels arrived at Sodom, but it was Lord Himself who visited both Abraham and Lot in the form of angels. However in the epistle of Hebrews, the author reminds that people entertained angels by showing hospitality to strangers due to which they received a great blessing in their life. Abraham and Sarah received a child the next year, and Lot and his family were spared before Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed. SImilarly, angels would have visited homes of such people who practice hospitality and the blessing is on the way. So do not forget to practice hospitality.

Also, since Abraham and Sarah welcomed the three men, their generations were later fed with Manna while in the wilderness. We often hear people say that the blessings they currently enjoy are the result of their parents/grandparents' generosity towards God's people and that is true!

Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering - it’s not the literal meaning of remember, but to help them and extend some kindness towards them. Almost every nation practices the Prison Ministry with this key verse as their motivation to do so, and even the jail officials permit the prison ministry with a heart to transform the prisoners’ lives.  
Even Paul says of himself that he was earlier a murderer and cruel person who later rejoiced in being poured out as a drink offering to  God. (Philippians 2:17)

The author started the epistle by exalting Jesus above all in the initial chapters, and then explained the change in the covenant and priesthood, mentioned about Melchizedek, and later gave the list of heroes of faith to encourage the believers and in this chapter he concludes by instructing the believers to remain in the Christian love and culture and to finish the race with perseverance. How beautifully has it been orchestrated by the Holy Spirit!!

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About the Author
Dr. Damien Antony
Born and brought up in a Christian family, Dr. Damien Antony possessed an unquenching quest for truth right from his boyhood days and eventually his relentless search led him to the Bible. He is a Revival Preacher, Bible Teacher, Leadership Trainer, Author and a Life Coach. He moves under the anointing for Prophetic, Healing, Deliverance, Inner Healing and Financial Breakthrough. God has also blessed him with an Apostolic Mandate to take the Universal Body of Christ to the next level of revelation and anointing.

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