Hospitality = love for the stranger.
The stranger in the Bible is a test for our charity, a mirror that shames us and envious and a key person for knowing a multicoloured God.
Filoxenia: love for the stranger. That is in God’s eyes hospitality.
During political and financial crises are often foreigners and migrants who suffer.
In the churches, the alien is quickly identified as the black sheep of the corruption and economic problems. But in any case not by Pope Francis.
But in any case not by Pope Francis.
Thus disappears from seeing what God has thought with the arrival of the stranger in our midst.
The role of the alien in the Bible threefold:
1. A test for our charity,
2. A mirror that shames us and makes jealous and
3. a key person for knowing a multicoloured God.
1. Test for our charity.
In the Old Testament, foreigners regularly addressed in the laws and regulations of Israel, which the Israelite s are immediately reminded of their history as aliens in Egypt.
The evil that was done is, in fact, more comfortable to repeat than good; it can be repeated as a kind of revenge.
The test of charity can result in an economic boon, or we are bringing our love for refugees and migrants in practice.
God’s care for the foreigner is also a recurring theme in the Old Testament.
He is self-namely those who love and care proves to the stranger (Psalm 146: 9 and Deuteronomy 10:18).
So he asks his people:
- to make conscious parts of the harvest for the poor among the strangers (Leviticus 23:22 )
fair legal treatment also of the foreigner (Deuteronomy 1: 16-17) and
the equal right to a day of rest (Exodus 20:10), so he does not force to work while able to harness the Israelite’ s.
Even the inheritance of being mentioned by name in Israel stranger rooted in the division of the land (Ezekiel 47: 21-23).
The test of mercy with regard to the weak.
God even goes so far that he connects his blessing to what I would call the test of mercy regarding the weak.
If the Israelite’ s are called upon to agree to celebrate a big party in the three years of the tithes they collect, they prescribed to distribute those 10 per cent of the Gross National Product among the gifts live Levites, among the widows, orphans, and strangers.
That the Lord thy God may bless thee in all the work that makes your hand.
The Economic boon result of the test or we bring our love for refugees and migrants in practice.
The New Testament shows God back in the same line as in the Old Testament: caring for the least.
Again, God reveals himself again a God who cares for the least; the whore, the publican, and the stranger, like the Samaritan.
In fact, more than once, God identifies Himself in Jesus the lesser among us.
At his birth, there is already no place in the inn, and he must seek asylum in Egypt, and, later, there is no place to lay his head and makes a grassroots woman for gifts of living (Luke 8: 3).
He who calls us to be hospitable to those who are (left to anything Luke 14: 12-13 ) guest is itself at tax collectors and Samaritans.
In Paul’s letters is the Greek word for hospitality Filoxenia, which is significant at a time of me and our people first.
Filos means namely loved, and Xenos stranger, and so is hospitality in the biblical sense love for the stranger.
That is why Paul could say that some had thus housed angels (Hebrews 13: 2 ).
Little did they know who brought it to the house.
That love is immediately a test of leadership because in one Timothy 3: 2, Titus 1: 8 and 1 Peter 4: 9 says that hospitality is a prerequisite for a good leader.
So how loving are you as an elder and pastor for scary foreigners on the square at your church?
That defines genuine hospitality, not that cup of coffee for the indigenous neighbour.
Finally, Jesus himself explains the bar so high (or low, if you will) when it comes to the ultimate test for our charity; our attitude toward the least.
In his identification with that, we read in Matthew 25 that he include proven our hospitality in the person of a stranger, and you took me in.
Who stood the test of practical love for the stranger, may even look forward to eternal blessing.
2. Mirror shames us and envious.
One of the most characteristic features of the way God uses people, its inverse process.
He uses not the ones who stand in front, but the last in line. Not the strong, but the weak.
He let Joseph growing up in the desert and Moses in a palace but used in a mansion Joseph and Moses in a desert.
He confounds the wise and notables in the world by those whom you least expect.
In the time of Jesus, it was not much different from now. Foreigners, whether they were Romans and Samaritans had no reputation.
Jesus Samaritan designation was hurled as an insult to his head in John 8 verse 48.
Do we sometimes say falsely that you are a Samaritan, and that you are possessed?
Conversely, Jesus Samaritan and another stranger again as a mirror for the Jews, to confound the self-styled wise from the unexpected angle.
A Samaritan is the only one of ten former lepers returned to thank Jesus for his healing.
This seems to be to the astonishment of Jesus (nobody Wild return else to honour God than this stranger), but from someone whose hearts people knew it was more of a rhetorical question to the Jewish bystanders and the disciples who saw this fact somewhat overlooked.
But from someone whose hearts, people knew it was more of a rhetorical question to the Jewish bystanders and the disciples who saw this fact somewhat overlooked.
Jesus shows the illustration of a Good Samaritan to the religious establishment to see what true charity is.
The central point here is no mercy but who here is merciful (and who does not).
In this time translated: Jesus preaching of the Good Moroccan in a church in the Bruges.
We are only awakened as the person who least expects it, do what we should have done.
Why the people of Nazareth to be so angry with Jesus that they want to push him into an abyss?
Did He speak of the union with his Father in heaven?
First, they called his words mercy rich, but then Jesus touches a sensitive spot, that of the Jewish religious pride.
It shows that even in the Old Testament God was able to pass his people or to help foreigners (Elijah and the widow of Zarephath ) and cure (Naman the Syrian) instead of Jews.
A mirror that unmasks our pride is perhaps the most confrontational, for he who humbles himself raises.
Imagine that your pastor in World War II an SS officer in the service calls forward and represents a symbol of faith, more than can be found in the Netherlands.
How would you feel?
That is what Jesus, when He and a Roman centurion, a foreign occupier, sees more faith that he has encountered throughout Israel.
Then he says that foreigners will still go ahead once the Jews in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Instead of anger may also lead to a sense of shame and healthy jealousy.
At least, such great faith had the Canaanite woman (Syro-Phoenician = current Lebanon) for her daughter.
Muslims want this part sometimes to cite to show how corrupt the Bible is.
Which good book shows does Jesus compare a woman with a dog?
But Jesus, the faith of this woman well realised, would the firm belief of a heathen just to show his disciples.
The shame of these Jewish nationalists.
This outside mirror for Jesus loved the Jews, was ultimately intended to make them jealous.
Just as Paul wanted to reach Jews everywhere to call his ministry among the Gentiles (Romans 11:14 ).
I recognise it when I hear witnesses Iraqi Christians in our church that has an unyielding influence.
I often think, would be native Belgians who left the church of their grandmother have and believe that the Christian faith is done away, but more often listen to the stories of refugees who have come to know Christ.
Many Christians from outside the West have something to teach us about the richness of faith, the spirit, and joy.
Maybe it is not apparent to Jews jealous with the faith of Gentiles.
Or native Belgians with the conversion of a refugee.
But is not that precisely the opposite direction who is often God?
3. Indispensable for knowing a multicoloured God.
Our western culture has a strange tendency to talk to two extremes when it comes to differing.
On the one hand, no country in the world known compartmentalisation like us.
Or do you think of the apartheid, but that is also again the only Dutch word used worldwide.
Do we love to ask where is that from? Or where you come from?
We have so many words to describe as immigrants; we do not know what we should use.
On the other hand, we are fond of levelling of differences.
Do not be too strange, no, do normal, that’s crazy enough.
Male and female, high and low-ranking, children and adults, everyone, is equal.
Differences are equality must adapt, especially in the way, so foreigners.
The Bible has a very different view of the differences between people.
If we thought behind suits, which immediately gives a broader view of God himself!
In James, the church addressed exhorting my brothers and sisters, do you believe in Jesus Christ, our glorious Lord, you should no longer distinguish ( James 2: 1 ).
And then a rich and poor visitor service is exemplified because they get a good and bad place assigned respectively.
Therefore, do not discriminate and judge if not by erroneous considerations? This is asked in verse 4.
In our churches too often distinguish based on impure motives.
Those with less intelligence, less education, and less money can be quite less interesting for the church.
But even those who do not speak Dutch well, strange habits owns or has a different faith.
The alien may be sidelined in the interplay of a municipality.
In Christ nullified many reasons for discrimination. When Paul in Colossians 3:11 says: Then there is no question of Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all in all, it was a radically different view of differences Jews who pursued ethnic purity.
There was Galatians 3:28 then again at that emphasises the equality of man and woman.
So it could happen that you sat at the supper as a Jewish master next to a female slave of pagan origin.
That was incredibly revolutionary at that time! What Paul had thought?
Paul never meant that the loss of compartmentalisation in the church of distinction by the judgment would lead to levelling of differences.
Men and women are equal but remain different.
Very practical, he says in 1 Timothy 6 a subordinate when a slave, now, for example, a worker his master at remembering his respect because they are brothers. Instead, he must serve him with even more commitment because he is the one who uses its services, connected with faith and love.
They sit together at dinner (no difference) does not mean that they are equals in the workplace (or disagreement).
The disappearance of distinction in Christ must, in fact, lead to greater respect for differences!
If we apply that to the stranger in our midst, it means that we first make no distinction in the Church between those who are different (immigrants) and those who are native.
Or, as Ephesians 2 that says the wall is broken down between Jew and Gentile, and thus also between nations.
So if you are no longer strangers or guests, but fellow citizens with the saints and of the household of God (Ephesians 2:19).
The differences do not have to be erased.
We are not converted to uniformity.
These differences can be celebrated.
The word pagan or non-Jew is often the Greek word Ethn uses that we know of ethnic groups, or nations.
These nations are by Christ, the head, gathered in his body.
The goal is thus to demonstrate a unit reflects God’s variegation.
Thus, now the wisdom of God known in all its shades by the church ( Ephesians 3:10 ).
Never a single nation or nations or languages could interpret the glory of God’s greatness.
There are all ethnicities and languages needed.
No wonder Jesus returns until his gospel in the world is known.
Imagine that there is no language or ethnic group.
God’s glory, but also his love, will never be fully understood if we do not have every believer there.
After Paul explained, in Efezian 3 that all nations are fellow heirs, members of the same body and share in the promises he works towards a final sentence before he bursts into praise, namely: you will with all the saints the length and width, can understand the height and depth, to know the love of Christ (verses 18 and 19).
With all the saints is what more than a few nominations together.
That means with saints from all the nations on earth.
Without those who are still foreign to us, God and his love will never be known in all versatility.
So we have a prospect that we will ever be united without confusion and misunderstanding in unity with all languages and nations around the throne of God.
Longing we all so intense on that day we would see Him face to face.
Realising that we together here can experience a taste, for example in my network where people already are members from 115 countries.
Now, therefore, ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but
fellow citizens with the saints and of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone.
In whom all the building fitly framed together, in a temple, holy to the Lord, built-in whom ye also becomes a habitation of God through the Spirit.
Therefore, I, Paul,
for the sake of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles, are in captivity; you have heard of
the stewardship of God’s grace given to me in order to you, to me by revelation was published the mystery, as I have.
Above in writing brief them
there to please you to read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ, which in other ages not been made known to the sons of men as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to the saints, his apostles and prophets
[this mystery], that the Gentiles are fellow heirs,
fellow members and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, of which I became a servant to the grace gift of God which was given me according to the working of his power. ”
Ephesians 2: 19-3: 7
” When the Son of Man comes
in His glory and all the angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of His glory.
All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as the shepherd-sheep separates from the goats: and He shall set the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the King will say to those on his right hand, speaking,
Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom that you is prepared from the foundation of the world off.
For I was hungry, and you gave me food.
I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink
: I was a stranger, and you welcomed me,
naked and you gave me clothed, sick, and ye visited me:
I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying,
Lord, when did we see you hungry and we feed you, or thirsty and we? You drink when did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe you?
When did we see you sick or in prison, and came unto thee?
And the King shall answer and say:
Verily I say unto you since ye have done it unto one of these my least brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Then he will say to those on his left, speaking:
Depart from me, ye cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
For I was hungry, and you gave me no food, I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink:
I was a stranger, and you welcomed me not welcome,
naked and ye clothed me,
sick and in prison and you visited me not.
Then shall they also answer him, saying:
Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty
Or a stranger or naked or sick, or in prison? We have not served
Then shall he answer them, saying,
Verily I say unto you since ye did it not to one of these least,
ye did it not to me.
And these shall go away into everlasting punishment,
but the righteous into eternal life. ”
Matth.25: 31- 46
Every religion has, at least, two forms:
1. The teaching by teachers, the sacred writings of the Wise and
2. The way we understand this and put into practice what the people are told.
Believers of the Bible, the biblical vision of paramount importance, but have it only gained insight through experience with erroneous interpretations of concepts and as such have learned to deal with it.
Especially in turbulent and confusing times like these,
it seems to dominate the misunderstandings and misinterpretations and take the appropriate application of biblical teaching to us off.
So it is now customary to think that all the ” aliens ” [especially Muslims and Economic migrants who visit our country] will possibly do crimes against us, we consider it a dangerous thing that they stop in our neighbourhood and take it for granted that we accordingly have the right to keep them in our community or environment, we operate them do as much as we can as cheap labour and annoy us when they are assigned the same rights as any other citizen.
The hatred inducing views of some political leaders.
We see political leaders take extreme positions – as the borders are closed and decisive action – which can lead to extreme situations, which may result in populations of violence committed against them and treat them jeering and harassing, is beating in the chest by itself ” nationalist “or” patriots to appoint.”
Let’s see what people from abroad – whether or not a political refugee – for precious spiritual heritage with them.
Attention !: many readers will now perhaps uneasy and done get, they could understand and see my words wrong: ” What do you want? Do you let them take our land? You let us not rob and our Faith [by Muslims] to killing? “
First, there are so few believers, and those who are left, will not allow themselves to convert to another faith.
The most the population is already disbelieved so can no longer decrease.
So no one needs to roll with that argument.
On the contrary, more and more biblical Christians to keep up good relations with Muslims.
Most Christians have been threatened in their existence in one way or another.
Many are afraid to show only that they have some connection with the church.
But remember that even the simple preservation of
the three mighty conquerors:
The European Union [showing its real face – only the monetary gain – which brings us to the financial crisis] and
Multinationals use us and pick their noses for workers and docile consumers.
We live in a culture where even European countries are likely to be closed out.
Look at what one of Greece has imposed (on the sale of patrimony and politics imposed by technocrats and banking institutions.
This triple foreign interference does not get the attention, no one condemns their behaviour, not winding up, let alone that one is against weathered!
The actual oppressors and plunderers of freedom.
Remove diseased ” indignation ” towards refugees from emergency direction will our affluent west and grab the real oppressors with their obscene worship of savings and large banks.
It is also evident that the police and the judiciary, law enforcement should be
keep up and protect us from bandits and murderers, but also, the defence has a price, which like other issues in need of real solutions.
We are indeed besieged by many foreign gangs whose Mexican and Italian mafia is probably still the biggest, but we also have just as many and powerful groups, the profiteers, who take incredible income through corruption within the European institutions; Every foreigner is not necessarily a villain.
Large companies and banks do not go unpunished by their fraud and tax havens.
Let us not remember a whole series of foreign girls are exploited in prostitution.
In fact, we are no longer human, but victim [addicted] to a fallen world.
Now let us as Christians, children, and grandchildren of Christians do speak to us.
Our God became the man, not as a hero or a truculent party leader,
[which was idolised by European citizens and other northern Aryans], but a simple, powerful God-man who became the victim of world rulers and conquered death that he saved humanity, and showed us how to live.
That what the world incessantly “suckers lists” who sacrifice themselves without expecting anything in return.
I’m not saying that ” nothing is contrasted.
Only, the more you radiate the love of God and love your neighbour, the more the Christian has sacrificed, the closer you approach the Kingdom of Heaven.
But this does not seem possible in a carefree paradise, so you turn godlessness and “successful” back to life.
In Christ, we have become a full member of the household of God.
And I believe there is a possibility to become financially independent without compromising or act themselves unethically.
We do not have to accept the marginal, foreign worldly oriented affair during our earthly life; We do not belong to this world.
” Now, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and of the household of God.” Ephesians 2: 19
The Apostle Paul refers to “no more” to the Ephesians but the then non-members and those who consider the current full limbs of the family of God.
He teaches that the Church is the real people of God, based on the Messiah our Lord.
Church rescues the human community whose members are heirs of God’s promises under the Old Covenant, which now is fulfilled in Christ.
The Church offers salvation.
Paul’s statement indicates that the Church offers salvation, the Gospel, sent by the Prophets [God the Holy Spirit] the salvation promised to the people of both Israel and us in our time.
So Israel inheritance in the Church remained.
Anyone, Jew or Gentile that Jesus Christ confesses the Lord in the Body is a partaker of God’s promise in Christ Jesus through the Good News,
“[this mystery], that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, fellow members and fellows of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” Eph.3: 6 the ministry of our Lord and His apostles put an end to certain expectations about our possessions [and those of ancient Israel].
In that sense we can say that we also failures, setbacks or downs meet in our online activities, we continue to see everyone happy.
It opened membership in Christ’s Church, not only to Israel but to all people on earth.
Those Jews – including the Twelve Apostles, Paul, the Seventy, and all the others who came after them, including Muslims – who follow Christ as Messiah were offered by the Lord Jesus, the illuminating power of the Holy Spirit, the grace of God to accept the Father.
As a Jew who became joint heirs with Christ, they fought any attempt to get rid of the strictures [coercion] of faith in Christ,
the Old Covenant to limit the ritualism.
At the same now, they confirmed the Church boldly as the heir of God’s promises – as the true Israel of the Old Covenant.
We are taking us today, for centuries considered later when Christians also declare that we Israelite s [the Israeli Authority] are.
This is not just an act using mental gymnastics.
In fact, we are ” fellow citizens with the saints” of the old Ephesians 2: 19, and including Abraham, Isaac, Israel [Jacob],
Moses, Joshua, David, Solomon, Elijah and all the prophets.
We are the real chosen people of God.
What does this mean?
Paul reveals here that the Church one is a creation of the Holy Trinity:
a new nation based on the
- Lord Jesus, which must comply
to the will of God our Father,
by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Christian Church thus offers salvation to “all nations.”
We get a full membership in Christ,
become part of “one holy temple in the Lord. One dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” Ephesians 2: 21-22
God, as Paul proclaims, is as a man born in a city [Bethlehem], where were his human parents’ foreigners, and they really have no room to stay there, and He was born in a stable; He who wants to take himself more strangers and foreigners.
Then was he a worldly-minded king fled hunted was immigrant and followed his worldly father and mother to Egypt to slain the settings of the eternal enemy of humanity [the devil] would be, to keep trying him.
And his human adoptive father found work as a foreign worker.
Do not ask how they experienced it themselves?
The growth of our God into the world around us depends on
– the Alien, which from country to country roads to find salvation, which was denied him
– the stranger, who “no place to lay his head down ” and
– who is slain by his countrymen as if it were a stranger
was even at the mercy of strangers [the Romans].
Jesus was the God-man, the great Stranger, who by “us” never seems to be understood and by some, always [but especially now] is mocked in society as a ” poor in spirit ” a “loser.”
Joseph of Arimathea.
On Good Friday, we sing a touching hymn, where the Saint Joseph of Arimathea [secret disciple of Christ who manifested fearful after the crucifixion] who went to Pilate and asked:
“Δώσε μου αυτόν τον ξένο, συμπατριώτες του τον μισούν, και τον έχουν σκοτωθεί ως ξένος “,
which means ” Give me this stranger, his countrymen hate him and have slain him like a stranger. ”
With Love xx
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