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65: Two Lessons on Hospitality

May 14, 2009

Major Text: Luke 10:38-11:13


  1. The Hospitality of Martha and Mary Luke 10:38-42
  2. The Hospitality of God the Father Luke 11:1-13


Mary and Martha reside in Bethany, a short distance west of Jerusalem. They have a brother, Lazarus. This is a large gathering by today’s standards; Jesus, His twelve disciples, Martha, Mary, most likely Lazarus and other family members. This gathering totals sixteen plus.

Martha needs help. Martha wants help. So she asks Jesus to focus on just the men and send Mary in to help her. Jesus could care less about eating if someone is willing to listen. In many ways this is a feeding of the 16 plus in Bethany compared to the 5000 plus in Galilee.

Luke Chapter 11 opens with Jesus praying. Scholars believe this took place in Judea and I’m guessing it may have even been back at the Mount of Olives because Jesus is back debating the Scribes and the Pharisees next. The NIV text says Jesus was praying in a certain place. To me that means on a mountain because that’s usually where Jesus went when He prayed. I’m also thinking He was praying in a familiar place. But there are many mountains [hills] in Judea so it’s not necessary or proper to get locked into a location when none is mentioned.

The disciples ask Jesus to teach them to pray, which He does. This scripture is familiar to us because it is part of Matthew’s recording of The Sermon on the Mount. See Lessons 28 and 30 for comments on these portions. The difference is that Jesus was teaching to a crowd of Galileans when giving The Sermon and now He is teaching personally to His disciples. Remember awhile back we said that Jesus has begun to change His ministry from preaching to the crowds to teaching to individual persons, especially His disciples. Another reason is that Judea was a hotbed of opposition and He was able to accomplish more in smaller groups; divide and conquer so to speak.

Jesus ends His story with an illustration demonstrating hospitality, God’s hospitality.


1. Being hospitable prepares hearts to receive the Lord. [See comments on II John too.]

2. Listening to Jesus and preparing for Jesus’ coming are two important forms of hospitality but being fed by Jesus’ teaching is to take priority over our stomachs.

3. Our Lord responds positively to all [including unbelievers] who come to Him boldly, with sincerity, acknowledging their needs. Ask, be bold, and let Him supply your needs.

4. God promises His children [believers] even greater gifts and kindness. They will receive the Holy Spirit.

5. Open your homes to Jesus; open your hearts to Jesus; and enjoy the Holy Spirit of God. You will never hunger. You will never thirst. You will be loved, satisfied, content, and assured as His children. You will have a glimpse heaven on earth.

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