One of the primary requirements for Church leadership is showing hospitality (1 Timothy 3:2) – a trait not so common in leadership in the world!
Before going into a specific Word-study look at this insightful talk on showing hospitality in your small group by Ronelle Hauptfleisch.
44 Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon [the Pharisee who invited him for dinner], “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. 46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven–for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”
Observation and reflection questions
Context: This is part of the account of the immoral of woman (Mary) who walked into Simon the Pharisee’s house during a dinner party to anoint Jesus feet in demonstration of her remorse and repentance.
- Jesus honored Mary, an immoral woman who were note invited (not welcome!) at this dinner party, for doing some things culturally normative in showing hospitality in his days.
- Why is it ironic that he honored someone who was not even invited for doing these things? (verse 44) [hint: who is he addressing?]
- List the three things which Jesus commends Mary for doing. (verses 44-46)
- Thinking beyond their cultural setting, what does each of these three acts reveal about the practice of hospitality? e. how did she show hospitality? [hint: foot-washing is a means of…?; kissing is a means of showing…?; anointing is a means of showing…?]
- Note the measure of generosity shown (she poured a whole flask of expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet). What does this teach you about showing hospitality?
- What was Mary’s reward for showing hospitality?
- Reflect on this account. What does hospitality cause in the heart of the recipient, and what promise does it hold for the one showing hospitality?
Simon the Pharisee did not honor Jesus by showing culturally normative acts of hospitality. But an immoral woman entered this prestige company, humbled herself and doted on Jesus by generous acts of service, affection and honur. And he opened up his heart and rewarded her with what was in his spirit – life, the forgiveness of sins.
- How deliberate are you in showing hospitality?
- How generous are you in showing hospitality?
- At the next event whereby you host people at your house focus on these four aspects of showing hospitality, as demonstrated in this account. (Don’t do what Mary did, do as she did by doing something culturally relevant and acceptable).
- Serving the guests (“washing feet” Luke 7:44)
- Show affection and endearment to the gests (“kissing” Luke 7:45)
- Showing honouring and respect to the guests (“anointing” Luke 7:46)
- Doing all these things with generosity and joy.
Pray that the Lord will open your spirit to show generous hospitality.