In Matthew 10 Jesus continues his instructions to his disciples. Are these then for us too or are they specific to that time and context? Jesus speaks of rewards or wages, of a prophet and a righteous man. These could refer to a group of religious scholars or teachers who functioned in Jewish society at that time. Recognize and welcome a disciple as a disciple of Christ, accepting the word that they carry, and we will receive the promised blessing that goes with that word, or reward. The prophet and the righteous man are people who carry a particular teaching. To receive them, and to receive their word, is to receive the blessing associated with that teaching. Jesus then goes on to point out that the same applies to his apostles. To receive the apostles and their teaching, is to receive the blessing associated with their teaching. The reward for accepting the apostles and the good news that they carry from God, is access to the kingdom of heaven.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta was asked how it was that she could continue to tend the sickest and most wretched of the poor in the slums of Calcutta, India. She answered that as she looked at each person for whom she was caring, she tried to imagine that she was tending to Jesus’ wounded body – His nail-scarred hands, feet, and side. In each act of caring, the Kingdom of God embraced and reached out through her to the worlds poorest most vulnerable people.
God remembers each act of hospitality. We are God's ambassadors. Whoever welcomes an ambassador is welcoming the nation they represent. The disciples were ambassadors for Christ and whoever welcomed them into their homes were welcoming Jesus himself. This is mission as hospitality and a fundamental core to the quiet ministry of the monastics during the so called Dark Ages when their hospitals/hospitality carried on the Christian presence and message in supremely practical ways, carrying for the sick feeding the hungry. Maybe it should become our core missiology for the twenty first century?