No Strangers

9 Be hospitable to one another without complaint (1 Peter 4).

The word “hospitable” literally means “to be friendly toward strangers,” and yet Peter is telling them to be so “to one another”—to fellow believers. Yet, his meaning might be in the general sense, because, after all, he is not writing to a specific church (as Paul often did), but to the general population of believers—“to those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia” (1:1).

People are sometimes eulogized with the praise, “He never met a stranger,”—that is, he showed the same friendliness toward strangers as he did to those whom he knew. In other words, he showed no partiality—he was friendly toward all. Thus, Peter is telling these “scattered” believers to be ready to take in anyone who shows himself to be a follower of Christ, and to treat them as a friend by sharing a meal and lodging—and to do so “without complaint” or grumbling.

Lord, we thank You for this bond between strangers shared by all believers. Help us This Day to understand that to meet a fellow Christian is to meet no stranger at all, but Christ Himself. Amen.