Genesis 18:1 And the Lord appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;

2 And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground,

3 And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant:

4 Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree:

5 And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said.

6 And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth.

7 And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetcht a calf tender and good, and gave it unto a young man; and he hasted to dress it.

8 And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.

Romans 12:13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.

I Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach. (Also Titus 1:8).

5:10 Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.

I Peter 4:9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging.


MEMORY VERSE: Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. —Hebrews 13:2


CENTRAL THOUGHT: One special plan of God for the home is that of hospitality. From the beginning of time, His believing children have opened their hearts and homes to others, sharing what abundant or meager store they had with friends and strangers alike.




Genesis 18:1 “The Lord”: The Son of God in a human form. “The plains of Mamre”: the oak tree of Mamre. Obviously Abraham had pitched his tent where it could be shaded from the hot sun.

2 “Three men”: The Lord and two angels. It appears Abraham did not recognize them at first, but did later, as the Lord drew near to talk to Abraham, while the other two went on to visit Lot in Sodom (Chapter 19:1).

4 “Let a little water I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet”: it was a necessary part of the custom of hospitality in that time and place to wash the feet and ankles of weary travelers who walked barefoot or in sandals.

Romans 12:13 “Distributing to the necessity of saints”: Communicating or sharing with the needs of those whom God has selected to be His people. “Given to hospitality”: Earnestly pursue opportunities to entertain strangers in one’s home with warmth, friendliness and generosity.

I Peter 4:9 “Without grudging”: without grumbling or murmuring.




The story of Abraham entertaining his heavenly guests is an object lesson in hospitality; it reveals the custom of ancient times. If you read Jesus’ sermons and observe His own example, then take note of Paul and Peter’s admonitions, there was little difference in the manner of hospitality in their time, as compared to Abraham’s era. I believe we can conclude that the spirit of hospitality is something that transcends the passage of time and geographical location. Followers of God everywhere are commanded by Him to open heart and home to others.

We can read in the Gospels how Jesus was received into the home of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, and how he loved to frequent this home. We can also read how he admonished a Pharisee for his lack of hospitality while He was a guest in his home. “As ye have done it unto one of the least of these,” Jesus said to his disciples, as he taught them to show kindness to all, “Ye have done it unto me.”

The New Testament church practiced hospitality as they opened their homes to the needy, the traveling apostles, and the circle of believers. Hospitality was especially expected of bishops—pastors—and deacons and their families to be generous hosts, as part of the requirement for their ordination to those positions.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck



  1. Angels Unaware: Abraham saw three visitors approaching. According to Hebrews 13:2, he didn’t recognize them immediately. How is this an example for us to follow? Which teaching of Jesus does this make you think of?
  2. A Household of Hospitality: Which scriptures teach the importance of both husband and wife being hospitable?
  3. A Warning: Which scripture gives a warning about our attitude? Why is this important?
  4. In Disguise: Our hospitality (or lack thereof) may have hidden implications, according to our memory verse. What are they?




The true spirit of the Gospel can best be shared to others right in our own home. All the blessings and treasures God has put within our home because of His Presence, can be felt in the spirit or atmosphere of the home. Guests who are shown the gentleness, generosity and love of Christ, who observe the peace and harmony between family members, notice the joy and orderliness that characterizes the home, naturally and without pretense, can be warmed and greatly influenced toward God without a word spoken to them about Christianity. It is all around them. The home is permeated with it. And this can be true if you are single. God’s blessing is still upon your home as you consecrate it to Him and His service.

This is God’s plan. His blessings don’t just stay hidden; they flow out, spilling over and refreshing weary hearts. This is what God had in mind from the beginning, that a home, a family, would be a picture to the world of His Heart and His Family.

So share it. Open up your heart; share a delicious meal; make people comfortable and warm; let them in on a wonderful secret: “He blesseth the habitation of the just.”

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




Memories of numerous times when hospitality was shown to me bring back feelings of warmth and endearment for the ones who so unselfishly gave of themselves to provide me with lodging and comfort in a strange place. Before adulthood I and my family often found ourselves among new people and away from home as we searched for God’s people.

No doubt, those who shared their lodging, meals, and fellowship with us have underestimated the spiritual and emotional health they imparted to us. Their hospitality made us feel valuable, welcome, secure, appreciated, and loved. May God help us never to underestimate the blessing that our sacrificial hospitality provides to another soul.

–Bro. Jeremy Booher