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Jesus became poor: Hospitality #3


Tonight I’m putting the final touches on my presentation on Radical Hospitality.  Funny thing is, I never offered to do this seminar – I was going to talk about Hospitality as Salvation in the context of inner city church work, but this thing has taken on a life of its own.

Last week, my boss Shaila talked about Radical Hospitality being one of our key values at Alpha Canada and that we were going to put this front and center in our training this spring.  So, I’ve got my juices running.
One of the most interesting point on hospitality for me came from Micheal Frost in a little video he did on The Work of

becoming the poor

Micheal Frost on becoming the poor

the People (a website of video resources I highly recommend).  In this clip he talks about the story from Luke 7 where Jesus is invited to a party at Simon’s house.  He’s a bit of celebrity but as the story moves along, we find out that the host is actually trying to impress everyone else.  Jesus isn’t welcomed properly and is actually insulted.  Then a beautiful thing happens when a working girl (prostitute) drops behind him, at his feet, pours expensive perfume on his feet and then washes his feet with her tears and hair.

Frost points out a beautiful Palestinian tradition of the hombre or shadow people.  These hombres were the people who were able to sneak into a party (uninvited).  Once in, they were entitled to be fed, but not given a place at the table.  I imagine that if a man wanted to show off his wealth and care for the poor, he’d let in many hombres.  It would be a good business or political move to be seen as compassionate and wealthy.
At this point I just want to consider, how often had Jesus been an hombre?  How many times had he and his brothers snuck into a party just to be fed.  The children of a carpenter would not have been wealthy or privileged.  And after the death of their dad, it may have become necessary to sneak out food to other family members.
In this story we’re reminded that Jesus was never a man of earthly means.  Though he generously fed 5000 with just a few loaves and fish, he seemed to require the hospitality of people more than he could offer it.  Christian hospitality therefore is not primarily following the example of Christ but rather an opportunity to show hospitality to Jesus.  Matthew 25 confirms with the teaching on caring for the poor being the same as caring for Jesus himself.
So, how have I shown mercy to Jesus today?  Will I see him tomorrow when he comes across my path as hungry, thirsty, in bondage, beat down or neglected?

Author: Robb Massey

I'm a husband, dad, pastor and a coach. I love following Jesus, riding my bike and having fun with my family. We live in wonderful Winnipeg, Manitoba in the prairie heartland of Canada

2 thoughts on “Jesus became poor: Hospitality #3

  1. Very interesting! I wonder if Jesus would have snuck into peoples homes… kinda off the charts…

  2. I really think he did. Walked in, stuffed his pockets and brought food back to his family. I don’t think he multiplied the food every time they were short. Matthew 25 says that when we feed hungry people, we’re feeding Jesus himself – so I guess that he was fed many times growing up. Maybe I’m wrong, but I do like the imagery of this.

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