|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:7-11 The destruction of the Jewish church and nation, foretold by our Saviour, was very near. And the speedy approach of death and judgment concerns all, to which these words naturally lead our minds. Our approaching end, is a powerful argument to make us sober in all worldly matters, and earnest in religion. There are so many things amiss in all, that unless love covers, excuses, and forgives in others, the mistakes and faults for which every one needs the forbearance of others, Satan will prevail to stir up divisions and discords. But we are not to suppose that charity will cover or make amends for the sins of those who exercise it, so as to induce God to forgive them. The nature of a Christian's work, which is high work and hard work, the goodness of the Master, and the excellence of the reward, all require that our endeavours should be serious and earnest. And in all the duties and services of life, we should aim at the glory of God as our chief end. He is a miserable, unsettled wretch, who cleaves to himself, and forgets God; is only perplexed about his credit, and gain, and base ends, which are often broken, and which, when he attains, both he and they must shortly perish together. But he who has given up himself and his all to God, may say confidently that the Lord is his portion; and nothing but glory through Christ Jesus, is solid and lasting; that abideth for ever.
Verse 9. - Use hospitality one to another; literally, being hospitable (comp. Romans 12:13; 1 Timothy 3:2; Hebrews 13:2 3John 5). Hospitality must have been a necessary, and often a costly, duty in the early ages of the Church. There was no public provision for the poor. Christians traveling from place to place would find no suitable shelter except in the houses of Christians. They would be obliged to avoid the public houses of entertainment, where they would be exposed often to danger, always to temptation; only the private houses of Christians would be safe for them. Hence the use of the "letters of commendation," mentioned by St. Paul (2 Corinthians 3:1). Those who brought such letters were to be received in Christian homes. The well-known 'Teaching of the Twelve Apostles' speaks of this right of hospitality, and gives cautions against its abuse. Tim apostle is not speaking of ordinary social gatherings; they have their place and their utility in the Christian life, but they do not, as a rule, afford scope for the higher self-denials of Christian charity (comp. Luke 14:12, 13). Without grudging. Such hospitality would be always costly, often inconvenient, sometimes attended with danger, as in the case of the first British martyr; but it was to be without murmuring. Murmuring would take from the hospitality all its beauty; it should be offered as a gift of love, and Christian love can never murmur (comp. 2 Corinthians 9:7).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Use hospitality,.... Or, "be lovers of strangers", as the phrase may be rendered, and as it is in the Syriac version; that is, such as are of a distant country, or come from afar, and are unknown by face, especially good men, that are obliged to remove from their native country for the sake of religion, or by one providence or another; and these are to be loved: and love is to be shown them, both negatively, by not vexing them, and making them uneasy in body or mind; by not oppressing them by violence and injustice, and making any exorbitant demands upon them; or by not perverting judgment with respect to them; and positively, by directing, counselling, and advising them, and if need be, by giving them food, and raiment, and lodging: and it is what men have been led to by the very light of nature, as in the instances of Jethro the Midianite towards Moses, and the inhabitants of Melita with Publius, the chief man of the island, towards the Apostle Paul and his company; and is what God enjoined the Israelites by divers laws, since they had been strangers in the land of Egypt; and various are the exhortations to it in the New Testament; and some, by the practice of it, have entertained angels unawares, as Abraham, and Lot; and even Christ himself, as the two disciples travelling to Emmaus; and is what is highly regarded and commended by Christ, and the contrary is resented by him; and therefore it ought to be used and practised frequently; saints should inure themselves to it, be given to it, pursue and follow hard after it; See Gill on Romans 12:13; see Gill on Hebrews 13:2. The apostle adds here, one to another; which clause is left out in the Syriac and Ethiopic versions; the reason of which may be, because the authors of these versions might think this not so consistent with the duty exhorted to, since the objects of it are strangers; but it should be observed, that so were these persons the apostle writes to; see 1 Peter 1:1, they were scattered about, and lived in different countries, and were strangers to one another, and therefore the clause is pertinent enough; and the sense is, that as they were in foreign countries, and at a distance one from another, whenever by any providence they were brought where each other were, that they would be hospitable to one another: and that
without grudging: food, raiment, and lodging, or what they want, whether direction or advice, thinking it no trouble to give them either; or without murmurings, as it may be rendered, as if they were burdensome, and they were too chargeable to them, and their stay too long; and without complaints of them, finding fault, and picking quarrels with them, and laying charges against them, in order to get rid of them. This is one branch of charity before recommended.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. (Ro 12:13; Heb 13:2.) Not the spurious hospitality which passes current in the world, but the entertaining of those needing it, especially those exiled for the faith, as the representatives of Christ, and all hospitality to whomsoever exercised from genuine Christian love.
without grudging—Greek, "murmuring." "He that giveth, let him do it with simplicity," that is open-hearted sincerity; with cordiality. Not secretly speaking against the person whom we entertain, or upbraiding him with the favor we have conferred in him.
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