Crucifixion as a Means to Hospitality

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When Jesus told his disciples both that he was going away and that he would prepare a place for them so they could eventually come and abide with him (John 14:1-4) Jesus did not at that time tell them that the road to “going there” was the cross. He said that earlier (Matthew 10) but not in this moment otherwise Thomas wouldn’t have responded the way he did in 14:5. In order for Jesus to go and prepare a place for them the going would take him straight to the cross.

The last thing Jesus says before Thomas interjects is that they “know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas chimes in saying they don’t know the way to which Jesus responds they do know the way because they know him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Jesus is the way and the way of Jesus is the way of the cross. How can Jesus say they know the way already? First because they know him as was just stated and stated in reply to Thomas and second because Jesus has already gone over this with them. Jesus’ response to Thomas is really no different than what he already told them in Matthew 10:38 where he tells his disciples that the way to follow him is the way of the cross, “Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” The next thing Jesus talks about is hospitality (Matt 10:40-42),

“Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 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. 42 And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”

How are the cross and hospitality related? The only reason we can eternally abide as recipients of Jesus’ eternal hospitality it the path that leads through the cross. In order to be truly hospitable…even unconditionally hospitable we have to be cross bearers. We have to crucify our whole selves in order to make our whole selves truly available to the other person. What parts of your inner you make it difficult for you to practice hospitality as Jesus practiced it?

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