Are you looking for encouraging Bible verses about hospitality? Then you’re in the right place!
The practice of hospitality is rooted in God's Word and manifested in the people of God. The practice of biblical hospitality is a symbol of God's love and grace toward us as sinners whom he reconciled with Himself.
We are called to love and serve one another as Christians, and showing hospitality is a big part of that. When love grows, hospitality grows as well, which furthers the expansion of God's Kingdom.
These verses about hospitality inspire us as Christians to express God’s love through being hospitable to those who come into our homes.
Whether they are strangers, family, or members of the household of faith, when we serve others joyfully and show them kindness, we show that we care and this pleases our Father in heaven.
Being hospitable is all about serving others and putting their needs and interests above our own. This is something that we learn from our Lord Jesu Christ and we can practice in our lives as well.
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What is Biblical Hospitality?
Hospitality is defined as the warm, friendly, and generous reception of guests. The Greek word for “hospitality” in the New Testament means “love of strangers.” No matter where or how it happens, showing others love and acceptance is an act of love.
Biblical hospitality involves serving others with an open and humble heart out of obedience to God who calls us to love him and love others as we love ourselves. It’s about showing genuine care, and kindness, and connecting with others.
All human life begins with God's act of hospitality. He gave us a home in our mother’s wombs and in this world, he created even though we did not deserve all his generosity. Moreover, he does all this lovingly and freely without expecting anything in return.
Being hospitable means treating strangers as though they were family, just as God did for us. In addition to being a spiritual act, Christian hospitality is also a spiritual gift.
Bible Verses about Hospitality
The Bible contains both positive and negative examples of hospitality. The stories of Abraham and Sarah and the Shunamite woman are just a few of the many instances of genuine hospitality that we can learn from in the Bible and that we will read about below.
Through these stories and the Bible verses about hospitality, we learn more about what it means to love and be kind to others, even in difficult circumstances. We also see the attitude that God wants us to have as we serve, welcome, and host others into our private spaces.
1 Peter 4:8-10
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” 1 Peter 4:8-10 NIV
As Christians, we ought to value the opportunity to serve God by being gracious to others. The time, money, and emotional effort we use when hosting others is a way of serving the Lord. When we do good things for others, it pleases the Lord.
While we'd rather be closed off and comfortable, this Scripture reminds us to practice hospitality joyfully because all we have ultimately belongs to God and we are merely stewards of his good gifts and blessings.
“Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” Romans 12:13 ESV
This verse emphasizes the importance of showing love and consideration to our fellow Christians, which is at the core of hospitality. We are encouraged to be kind by opening our homes to anyone who is in need. The needs of others should be generously met by God's people.
We should actively look for occasions to show hospitality. This requires intentionally and actively seeking out opportunities to serve and bless others.
1 Timothy 5:10
“and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work.” 1 Timothy 5:10 ESV
This scripture about hospitality shows that the good works we do express Christ’s love to others. They come from a heart that is humble and places others needs ahead of you own. There is commitment and devotion that is needed to show hospitality to others.
“and said, “O Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, while I bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.” Genesis 18:3-5 ESV
Abraham's hospitality toward three strangers in one of the Bible's early stories of hospitality which brought a miracle in his home. He was rewarded for his kindness when the strangers turned out to be angels who gave him and his wife Sarah the promise of a child.
This shows that being hospitable can bring blessings and rewards in your life. Hospitality was an important principle in Biblical times and remains so in our modern Christian lifestyle.
“For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.” Mark 9:41 ESV
This verse encourages Christians to practice hospitality and generosity towards others, even in small ways. It reminds us that every act of kindness and hospitality towards others, no matter how small, is valued by God and will be rewarded.
“And he must be hospitable [to believers, as well as strangers], a lover of what is good, sensible (upright), fair, devout, self-disciplined [above reproach—whether in public or in private].” Titus 1:8 AMP
While this scripture was addressed to leaders in the church, it applies to us as well since we follow what they do. Hospitality should not be done out of a sense of duty.
Rather it should be out of gratitude for what God has done for us and how Christ has served us. The reward comes when we do it with joy and enthusiasm.
“Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” Luke 14:12-14 NIV
What a powerful demonstration of love and hospitality. Jesus reminds us that the true blessing is in showing kindness to those who cannot repay us in this lifetime. When we do things not as a show-off but to please our Heavenly Father, he will remember us and surely bless us.
2 Kings 4:8–10
”One day Elisha went on to Shunem, where a wealthy woman lived, who urged him to eat some food. So whenever he passed that way, he would turn in there to eat food. And she said to her husband, “Behold now, I know that this is a holy man of God who is continually passing our way. Let us make a small room on the roof with walls and put there for him a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp, so that whenever he comes to us, he can go in there.” 2 Kings 4:8–10 ESV
The woman from Shunem is one of the best examples of someone in the Bible who demonstrated generosity and hospitality towards Elisha. It takes intention and a genuine concern to know what someone needs and provide for those needs and she did exactly that.
When you are hospitable to others they could be the secret to your blessing. This woman was rewarded for her kindness and Elisha asked what she wanted in return.
While she didn’t mention what she wanted, Gehazi Elisha’s servant noticed that she had no son. Elisha declared that she would have a child the following year and she sure held her miracle child at the appointed time.
“Rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man.” Ephesians 6:7 ESV
Even when it's difficult, we should always have a spirit of goodwill toward the people we have in our homes. We must keep in mind that we are working for the Lord and not for people.
Just like the Shunamite woman, our kind deeds should not be driven by a desire for personal gain or recognition, but rather by a desire to honor and glorify God. We serve others as if we are serving the Lord when we extend hospitality.
“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food.” Hebrews 5:12 ESV
Showing kindness, care, love, and hospitality to strangers and God’s people are some of the elementary teachings of Christianity. As we mature in Christ, he wants us to grow in these principles and teach them to others.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” Ephesians 2:10 ESV
As Christians, we are created by God to do good works, which includes showing hospitality to others. One of the good works that God has prepared for us to do is hospitality. By extending hospitality to others, we serve as examples of God's love and grace to those who are in our midst.
“The native people showed us unusual kindness, for they kindled a fire and welcomed us all, because it had begun to rain and was cold.” Acts 28:2 ESV
This verse is an example of the importance of hospitality in the Bible. The people on the island demonstrated kindness towards Paul and his companions by welcoming them and providing for their needs. It was a practical demonstration of hospitality and care.
When we recognize that even strangers are fellow human beings and we are caring towards them it can make the biggest difference in their lives.
“A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself” Matthew 22:39 NLT
This is the second most important commandment we are to obey after the first one which is to love God with all heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37-38). Loving others is an act of obedience to God's commandment not just a good deed that Christians should perform.
When we do this, we give others the same respect, love, and consideration that we would want for ourselves. Loving our neighbor as ourselves entails treating others with the same courtesy as if they were a member of our own families.
“Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it” Hebrews 13:1-2 NIV
Our Heavenly Father desires that we have a genuine love for strangers, rather than simply viewing it as a duty of hospitality. The way God transforms a total stranger into a close friend is truly amazing.
Abraham is the best example of someone who showed hospitality and kindness to people who turned out to be angels. Keeping this perspective and treating everyone we have with genuine love is a great way to express God’s love for them.
3 John 1:8
“We ought therefore to show hospitality to such people so that we may work together for the truth.” 3 John 1:8 NIV
When we practice Biblical hospitality to strangers, we are emulating Christ and directing people to the truth of the gospel by our actions. Showing kindness to those who are different from us requires empathy and understanding.
When we win people over with our actions, we get to influence those people and can work with them to grow the Kingdom of God.
“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:10 NKJV
This Bible verse about hospitality instructs us to practice kindness whenever we have the opportunity, not just when it is convenient. It also encourages us to extend special hospitality to God's people. This includes God's people in your local church, missionaries, pastors, and any believers in need.
Our Heavenly Father has a soft spot for the vulnerable in the community such as widows and orphans. They are likely lonely even though they are surrounded by people in the church.
So we can intentionally connect with them, invite them into our homes and meet their physical, emotional, or spiritual needs.
“Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward.” Matthew 10:40-41 NIV
As we welcome people into our homes, we are welcoming Christ Jesus who lives in them. God rewards us not only on earth but also in the heavenly realms when we act kindly toward others in tangible ways.
This verse calls us to consider the needs of those who are involved in ministry and to extend whatever hospitality and support we can to them. It serves as a reminder that every action we take, no matter how small, affects the work of the Gospel and the expansion of God's Kingdom.
“Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; when you see the naked, that you cover him, and not hide yourself from your own flesh?” Isaiah 58:7 NKJV
This verse inspires us to show kindness and compassion to people who are in need. It serves as a reminder to share our resources with others in a way that exemplifies Christ's compassion and love for us.
Practical love is very important in the church. When a member of the household of faith presents a physical challenge, our response should be physical too. Yes, we can pray for that person and encourage them with scripture but the Bible encourages practical help too.
“When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 19:33-34 ESV
God never wants us to mistreat others just because they have a different culture, beliefs, or background than our own. His command to the children of Israel was a reminder that just because they were mistreated by the Egyptians, it didn’t mean they should mistreat strangers.
As God’s children, we are unique and different in our reactions and attitudes from what the world does. The strangers were to be treated with kindness and respect just like the natives of the land.
3 John 1:5-6
“Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are, who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God.” 3 John 1:5-6 ESV
This verse emphasizes the importance of hospitality in supporting the work of ministry and spreading the truth of the Gospel.
It encourages Christians to show love and hospitality towards others, particularly those who are engaged in ministry work, as a way of demonstrating the love of Christ and advancing His Kingdom.
“Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God” Hebrews 13:16 ESV
This scripture about hospitality acknowledges that giving generously can occasionally require sacrifice. When you host, you might need to make cuts elsewhere in your budget to cover the extra groceries.
Your sacrifice makes God happy, and He is glad to see it. There is a reward for us when we sacrifice for others driven by the desire to obey the Lord.
2 Corinthians 9:7
“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” 2 Corinthians 9:7 ESV
True hospitality should be extended joyfully as a gift to God. When we practice hospitality with a spirit of generosity and joy we will give freely, without expecting anything in return.
It also reminds us that our giving should be motivated by a desire to please God and demonstrate His love to others.
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Hospitality is seen as a way of expressing love and care for others, and it is often linked to the idea of welcoming and caring for Christ Himself.
The Bible urges us to be hospitable without expecting anything in return and to extend hospitality even to those who may not be able to repay us.
When Christ Jesus died on the cross for sinners and made all who believe a part of God's household, that was the ultimate act of hospitality. We are no longer strangers as we've returned to God.
Everyone who puts their faith in Jesus Christ is welcomed into God's family and given eternal life.
The practice of hospitality is rooted in God's Word and manifested in the people of God. When we show genuine concern for the welfare of others, connect with them, meet them at their point of need, and do it all joyfully, we will receive the blessing of the Lord.