Jesus is clearly radicalizing the rules… for giving parties, and in doing that he is tampering with the primal ordering of society… It is important to recognize this radical critique and his incredible alternative. He is not just creating a new guest list, but he is offering a whole new vision of reality
Once, many years ago, I preached a sermon on this passage. I emphasized the extraordinary way in which Jesus tells his hearers to do something that must have been as puzzling to them as it is now. Don’t invite friends, relatives and neighbours – invite the poor and the disabled. The sermon had a strange effect. In the course of the next week my wife and I had received dinner invitations from no fewer than three people who had been in church that day. Which category of guest we came into we were too polite – or anxious – to ask.
it’s not surprising then that Jesus would make hospitality one of the things that Christ counts at the judgment day as evidence of our love for Christ. Matthew 25:34-35, “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” That is, you opened your home to me. You showed radical, Christ-honoring hospitality.
Later the writer to the Hebrews says something similar but not quite as amazing about hospitality, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares” (Hebrews 13:2). And Peter makes hospitality part of what is crucial in these last days. “The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling” (1 Peter 4:7-9). No grumbling. Love to do this. The Lord loves a cheerful hostess.
And when Paul writes the qualifications for eldership in the church, this included in both lists (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8), “An overseer [elder] must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable. Elders should have well-worn houses with people coming and going.