Big Idea: Selfless hospitality spotlights Jesus and advances the purposes of the gospel.
Observation: There were two women who served behind the scenes in Scripture. We don’t even know their names, but they made sure the mission of the gospel advanced. They were Peter’s wife and his mother-in-law.
What do we know about these women? Peter’s wife was a faithful partner. We know she was a help to him as Peter would often bring her along in his ministry (1 Corinthians 9:5). It is easy to surmise that she was a wife of great character since Peter preached many sermons about the importance of a faithful woman’s role in ministry (1 Peter 3:3-4). As for Peter’s mother-in-law, we know she must have been hard-working. At one point, she was sick, and after Jesus healed her, she immediately got up and starting serving others. We can also conclude that Peter loved her since he immediately sought out help from Jesus when he learned she was sick.
So how were these women involved in Jesus’ ministry? Through various texts in Matthew and Mark, we see Jesus often stayed at Peter’s house in Capernaum and used it as the base of operations for his ministry: crowds of sick people would line up outside the door, the twelve disciples would frequently eat supper there and talk theology, Jesus would preach to the masses inside and out in the courtyard, He would invite sinners, tax collectors, and Gentiles in for supper, and more. Even though the synagogue was only a few steps away, and Jesus could have preached there, he chose to do so at Peter’s home.
Think of it. Peter was frequently not able to tell his wife when he would be home for supper or if he would be bringing twelve other men (or an entire crowd) with him. There were no refrigerators or freezers that stored large amounts of food for such an occasion. At one point, their roof was pried open and a paralyzed man was lowered through it. Imagine the level of flexibility these women must have had. Quietly and selflessly, Peter’s wife and mother-in-law served as the heroes in the background of Jesus’ ministry.
Application: The purpose of hospitality is to advance the purpose of the gospel. Consider these points of application:
- Selfless hospitality connects you with God’s family. We are brothers and sisters in Christ, and what better way to be a family than to share our meals and homes together?
- Selfless hospitality connects you with the stranger who may need the Gospel. The Greek word for “hospitality” is “love of strangers.” Think of the strangers around you. How many neighbors have you strategically planned to have over in your home recently?
- Selfless hospitality connects you with God’s servants. It is good for your family and kids to have servants of God around your home as another godly influence for them.
- Selfless hospitality connects you with God by connecting you with people. The number one way to connect with God is through His Word, and the second way is to connect with people.
These ladies turned into servants because they were changed by Jesus (Mark 1:29-31). They put up with all the inconveniences because they loved Him. Ladies, you are the ones to stand behind hospitality. Make an effort to love Jesus more. The more you love Jesus, the more you will love others.