Useful Bible Studies > Hebrews Commentary > chapter 13

Strangers and angels

Hebrews 13:2

Near the beginning of his book, the author of Hebrews told us that angels serve Godís people (Hebrews 1:14). Now, near the end, he tells us that sometimes the opposite can be true. Sometimes Godís people have served angels. They have been guests in our homes. Or, they have shared our food. But we have not known who they really were. We were simply carrying out our duty, as Christians, to love strangers.

The fact astonishes us. We consider it a great honour when an important person is our guest. We prepare our home especially for the visit. We serve our best food and we use our best plates.

Angels are especially important. They are Godís special servants, who bring messages from heaven. For that reason, they deserve great honour.

The author mentions this to show that Christians should be kind to strangers. And that is especially so if a stranger needs food, or a place to stay. If an angel visited, he might seem to be a stranger. And a Christian would not want to send that visitor away. So, Christians should always be ready to help strangers.

Abraham believed that he should look after strangers. He urged them to stay for a meal, and he provided water for them to wash (Genesis 18:1-15). Lot also looked after strangers. He urged them to stay in his home, and he protected them (Genesis 19:1-17). Samsonís parents wanted to provide a meal for a stranger (Judges 13:15-16). But on each of these occasions, the visitors were really angels. We do not know whether that happened to the first Christians, too. But we do know that sometimes, angels visited them (Acts 10:3; Acts 12:5-11).

Next part: Bind us together, Lord (Hebrews 13:3)

 

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© 2014, Keith Simons.