This was a verse I have probably read over multiple times in the account of Jesus’ preparations for the Passover feast. Jesus told his disciples to ask the owner of the house this question (Mark 14: 14), “Where is my guest room…?” Notes in my Zondervan NIV Study Bible say: “It was a Jewish custom that anyone in Jerusalem who had a room available would give it upon request to a pilgrim to celebrate the Passover.”
This line of the verse stuck out to me today as we’ve nearly finished our new guest room upstairs. We have felt it was a priority to get it done so there would be a place for missionaries to stay if they needed to before The Haven duplexes were purchased. So, this line came as an encouragement, like Jesus was asking me where His guest room was.
That may sound strange to some of you, but I believe hospitality is on his heart! There are several Scriptures that touch on this:
- Matthew 11 40"He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me. 41Anyone who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward, and anyone who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man's reward. 42And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward."
- It is a command to practice hospitality in Romans 12:13 and 1 Peter 4:9.
- It is a prerequisite for an overseer in 1 Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:8.
- Paul noted the hospitality of others in Acts 28:7 and Romans 16:23.
- 2 Kings 4 8 One day Elisha went to Shunem. And a well-to-do woman was there, who urged him to stay for a meal. So whenever he came by, he stopped there to eat. 9 She said to her husband, "I know that this man who often comes our way is a holy man of God. 10 Let's make a small room on the roof and put in it a bed and a table, a chair and a lamp for him. Then he can stay there whenever he comes to us."
Study notes on this last Scripture say: “By her hospitality the woman was able to assist in sustaining the proclamation of God’s word through Elisha.” I like that a lot since that’s what we’re called here to do by faith!
I know that everyone does not have the space for a guest room. I think the alternative would be having a plan in place that would accommodate guests for various purposes. Jesus wasn’t staying over night in the guest room he asked for. He was sharing a meal with his disciples. Are you mentally ready for guests?
Addendum: This post was written a few weeks ago, but delayed in publishing due to a small crisis in the guest room and bath. Nothing like a deluge from the 2nd floor through your ceilings and lights to get you to wash all those towels that have sat in the cupboard too long! Really, it was a blessing in disguise: We had to re-do flooring that needed it and received a nice compensation from our insurance company. Thankfully it’s all put back together for our first international guest coming today!