1 Let brotherly love continue. 2 Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. 3 Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also. (Hebrews 13:1–3, NKJV)
It is easy not to have careful concern for those we do not know personally, and who are out of constant view. Today’s text exhorts us to be driven by brotherly love to remember both. Brotherly love expresses itself through hospitality (love of strangers). The hospitality enjoined here is far different from inviting friends and brethren over for coffee and cake. While this is a worthy kindness, the hospitality we are not to forget (v. 2) is showing fraternal kindness toward Christians who are strangers to us (“I was a stranger, and you took Me in,” Matt. 25:35; cf. 3 John 5-8). To do this was not without personal danger at a time when being a faithful Christian could imprison you, or worse (Matt. 24:9-13; Heb. 10:32-36). Brethren so mistreated should be remembered through our prayers and our provisions (“I was in prison, and you came to Me,” Matt. 25:36). “Out of sight, out of mind” does not characterize the faith of Christians who love their brethren as themselves (Jas. 2:8). May we commit ourselves to “increase more and more” in brotherly love through practical expressions of service to our fellow Christians (1 Thess. 4:9-10).