Speak Friend and Enter

Speak Friend and Enter

Friendship and Hospitality: Session 1


This world is full of sorrow because it is full of sin. It is a dark place. It is a lonely place. It is a disappointing place. The brightest sunbeam in it is a friend. Friendship halves our troubles and doubles our joys. – J.C. Ryle


The Lord of the Rings is essentially a story of friendship.

  • Gandalf at the doors to Moria
  • The Hobbits, Shire
  • The Fellowship
  • Legolas and Gimli
  • Aragorn and Boromir
  • Sam and Frodo


Why Talk About This?


  1. Everyone is lonely.
  • Wealth, technology, mobility, and a therapeutic culture have made us lonelier than ever.


  1. Friendship is not a luxury, but a necessity.

    “[Friendship today] is something quite marginal; not a main course in life’s banquet; a diversion; something that fills up the chinks of one’s time. How has this come about? The first and most obvious answer is that few value it because few experience it.” C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves


  1. Christianity has a well of resources for this very problem.


Made for Friendship


  1. What is Ultimate Reality?
    1. It is not nothingness; it is not matter; it is not force or reason. It is personal, relational, it is love, as revealed in the Triune God.

  2. Made in God’s image.
    1. We are made for community.
    2. The first problem: it is not good for man to be alone.

  3. Made to commune with God.
    1. God walked with Adam and Eve—to “walk with God” is an idiom for friendship, see Enoch, Noah, cf. Prov 13:20.
    2. God has always intended to be in communion with us—to be in communion with Him is to be in communion with one another. 1 John 5:1
    3. The uniqueness of Friendship love in contrast with Familial or Romantic love.
      1. “Friendship is…the least natural of loves; the least instinctive, organic, biological, gregarious and necessary…this alone, of all the loves, seemed to raise you to the level of gods or angels.” Lewis


What Went Wrong


Homo Incurvatus In Se

  • Sin is inherently anti-social—we are too busy focusing on ourselves to pay attention to God, to others.
    • A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother,” (Prov 18:24).
    • Sin pushes people away, uses people. It does not enjoy or love others with openness and trust.
  • Adam and Eve hide from God.


The Plan of Redemption: Hospitality


Hospitality: Friendship, on Mission

  • God’s plan to restore the ruptured relationship: hospitality.
  • What is hospitality? Philoxenia, a love of strangers, outsiders. Associated generally with providing food and/or shelter to those in need. Opening your table and home with a warm welcome.

  • God’s plan: to love those who have been estranged from Him.
    • God provides and God pursues reconciliation.
    • God shares meals with His people
      • Abraham (Gen 18)
      • Moses (Ex 24)
      • David (Ps 23)
      • Temple sacrifices

    • The Friend of Sinners
      • The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.” – Matt 11:19

        • The emphasis on Jesus eating is odd—why are we told so much about his eating?
          • Jesus’ first miracle (John 2:1ff)
          • Eats with sinners and tax collectors (Matt 9:9-17; Mark 2:13-22; Luke 5:27-39)
          • Eats grain from the fields with disciples (Matt 12:1-8; Mark 2:23-28; Luke 6:1-5)
          • Eats with Pharisees (Luke 7:36-50; 11:37-54; 14:1-24)
          • Feeds the 5,000 (Matt 14:13-21; Mark 6:32-44; Luke 9:12-17; John 6:1-14)
          • Feeds the 4,000 (Matt 15:32-38; Mark 8:1-9)
          • Eats with Martha and Mary (Luke 10:38-42)
          • Eats with Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-9)
          • Eats with Lepers (Matt 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9)
          • Eats with Lazarus (John 12:1-11)
          • The Last Supper (Matt 26:20-30; Mark 14:17-26; Luke 22:14-38; John 13:1-38)
          • On the Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:41-48)
          • On the beach (John 21:1-23)

        • The Lord’s Supper—why make one of the two ordinances a meal?
          • “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the covenant (see Ex 24:8), which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” Matt 26:26-29

        • The Wedding Supper of the Lamb—why describe heaven like a big feast?
          • “On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.” Isaiah 25:6 (cf. Isa 55:1-2)
          • And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” Rev 19:9
          • Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them. Luke 12:37

        • Table fellowship, sharing meals, is about relational connection. The point of all the meals is to communicate God’s desire to commune with us. We were made for friendship with God.

        • Jesus, Our Friend
          • Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. John 15:13-16
          • As Jesus is praying in Gethsemane, He longs for His friends to pray with Him, and is discouraged when they don’t.

        • The Early Church
          • And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers…And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. (Acts 2:42, 46-47)

          • Hospitality In
            • Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. – 1 Pet 4:9
            • Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. – Rom 12:13

          • Hospitality Out
            • 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, - Matt 25:35
            • Let brotherly love continue. 2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. – Heb 13:1-2



In Sum

  • Friendship is not peripheral, it is what you were made for: friendship with God and friendship with one another.
  • Sin has made friendship hard. We do not accidentally drift into friendship.
  • Hospitality is friendship on mission. Jesus’ life, ministry, and sacrifice show us what this looks like.
  • The Church is meant to be a place where friendship is cultivated and hospitality (in and out) is practiced. Where you ‘speak friend and enter.’
  • What can you do?
    • Attend the rest of these lessons
    • Invite someone over for a meal!