Page 10 - May 2022 - Truth & Tidings
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not forget those who are not in our social   turn out to be to the spiritual detriment
        circle, or who are poor, or lonely. It would   of the believer. There was no possibility
        be following the leading of the Lord Jesus,   of the Lord Jesus being stumbled, but we
        in His care and concern for the needs of   are not immune. It is important that we
        others, to invite and welcome them.   would seek wisdom and guidance from
        His Company                           God in this matter.
          Reading various cases in the Gospels   His Conversation
        where the Lord accepted the offer of hos-  An important part of hospitality is the
        pitality, we observe the variety of people   conversation that takes place during it.
        in whose company He was found. We see   What was it that caused the two on the
        Him accepting hospitality not only from   road to Emmaus to issue the invitation,
        believers (specific examples will be seen   “Abide with us,” to the “stranger” (as they
        as we proceed) but from unbelievers too.   thought Him to be) when they reached
        However, it was never with a view to   their destination? Doubtless it was the
        “socializing” with them on their terms but   conversation that they had had with Him:
        for their spiritual blessing. Hence, when   “Did not our heart burn within us, while
        “the Samaritans … besought him that   he talked with us by the way, and while
        he would tarry with them,” He readily   he opened to us the scriptures?” (Luk
        agreed (despite the longstanding hostility   24:18,29,32). So blessed was their conver-
        between Jews and Samaritans), and “he   sation that they wanted it to continue!
        abode there two days.” The result was   As we show and receive hospitality, is
        that many of them believed in Him (Joh   our conversation glorifying to Him and
        4:40,41). Similarly, when Matthew (Levi)   edifying to one another? How easy it is,
        followed Him, he hosted a gathering in   even among fellow-believers, to converse
        his own house, at which many of his erst-  about things that are worthless or even
        while colleagues and others of ill repute   harmful. How good it would be to be
        were present. The Lord was criticized   more like Him, and speak of “the things
        for eating with them, but His response   concerning himself” (v27)!
        clearly showed that they were the “sick”   His Counsel
        and He was the “physician” who had      Related to the previous point, the Lord
        come to “call … sinners to repentance”   Jesus used the opportunity provided
        (Luk 5:27-32).                        by hospitality to instruct those in the
          So we learn the need to interact with   company. Such a case is seen in His first
        unbelievers, longing and praying for their   recorded visit to the home of Martha and
        salvation. For instance, many a believer   Mary (Luk 10:38-42), when, to the annoy-
        has conversed about the gospel with an   ance of Martha, who was over-wrought
        unbeliever over a meal in a restaurant,   with her responsibilities, her sister was
        leading to that person’s  being  saved.   sitting and listening to the Lord. From this,
        However, a warning is needed, for what   the Lord brought out a big lesson: while
        can begin with the motive of reaching the   serving Him is very important, to enjoy
        unsaved with the gospel can, if we are   communion with Him and hear His Word
        not careful, lead us into involvement in   is even more vital. The teaching arose out
        associations and activities that, contrary   of what was taking place; it was not forced
        to being to the blessing of the unbeliever,   or contrived, and, being so relevant to

        138 TRUTH kTidings   May  2022
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