Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Matthew 10:40
Something so cordial can happen in first introductions when two persons discover that they have a friend in common. In what may be its most memorable form, a big-hearted host welcomes a guest with something like, “So nice to meet you. Any friend of Sam’s, or Samantha’s, is a friend of mine.”
Jesus said something similar. He’d been attracting crowds by healing many. But He’d also been making enemies of local religious leaders by disagreeing with the way they were commercializing the temple and misusing their influence. In the middle of a growing conflict, He made a move to multiply the joy, cost, and wonder of His presence. He gave His disciples the ability to heal others and sent them out to announce that the kingdom of God was at hand. He assured the disciples: “Anyone who welcomes you, welcomes me” (Matthew 10:40), and, in turn, welcomes His Father who sent Him as well.
It’s hard to imagine a more life-changing offer of friendship. For anyone who would open their house, or even give a cup of cold water to one of His disciples, Jesus assured a place in the heart of God. While that moment happened a long time ago, His words remind us that in big and little acts of kindness and hospitality there are still ways of welcoming, and being welcomed, as a friend of the friends of God.
What could you do through the Holy Spirit’s leading that might give others a chance to open their hearts to you? How could this point them to the Savior?
Father, thank You for giving us a chance to be part of the good news that has its source in You.
When Jesus sent His disciples out to preach, He sent them without extra clothes, food, or money (Matthew 10:9–10). They were to entrust their message to those who cared for them and in response to any that wouldn’t, they were to leave that home or town (vv. 13–14). Jesus said the “sheep and goats” (the righteous who put faith into action and others who don’t) would be judged on how they treated “the least of these brothers and sisters of mine” (25:31–40). Those who cared for Christ’s disciples welcomed Jesus Himself.