Love Of Strangers
Joe R. Price
Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. (Deut. 10:19)
With this command God revealed His will that Israel show
kindness and mercy toward all men, including those who were not Israelites. Israel had
been shown kindness and mercy in Egypt during the days of Joseph (Gen. 47:11). Israel had
also experienced tremendous hardships as a stranger in Egypt, enduring slavery for
hundreds of years (Exo. 1:8-11). Israel knew both sides of the coin. So now, as a nation
and as individuals of that nation, Israel was to love strangers.
Jesus commands Christians to love strangers, too (even
our enemies, Matt. 5:43-47). Another word for this is hospitality. Christians
are to be given to hospitality (Rom. 12:13) and we are to use hospitality
without grumbling (1 Pet. 4:9). It is one thing to be kind to a stranger, and
quite another to love to do so (cf. Titus 1:8). We are to be a people who do not
forget to entertain strangers (Heb. 13:2).
We show love of strangers by seeking their salvation.
Such an effort is the supreme expression of love (cf. Jno. 3:16). But we lose our
opportunity to teach the gospel and save a soul if we are rude, abrasive or unkind in our
demeanor and our words toward the stranger (Col. 4:6). It is essential that we convey to
strangers our genuine care for them. Remember, our goal is to save the lost, not to
elevate ourselves (cf. Lk. 18:9-14). There is a definite cause and effect which occurs
between us and the person who needs to believe and obey the gospel. Hospitality will show
your love for the lost. Hospitality undertands the plight of the sinner and tries to help
him out of sins bondage and death.
We show love of strangers by serving them. Matthew 25:34-40 assures us that every act of kindness shown another person is seen and rewarded by the Lord (cf. Matt. 10:40-42). The good Samaritan proved himself to be a neighbor by helping the stranger when he was in a helpless condition. Hospitality requires the use of our resources (such as time, possessions, etc.). It is therefore an unselfish and sacrificial act. Hospitality allows us the opportunity to be good stewards of our goods (1 Tim. 6:17-19). But you do not have to be rich to be hospitable. We should all help others as we would like to be helped (Matt. 7:12). Let us all give ourselves to hospitality!