31 Bible Verses About Welcoming Visitors (with Explanations)

The Bible often emphasizes the importance of welcoming strangers and embracing them as part of God’s family. From Abraham welcoming travelers in his tent to the Good Samaritan helping a stranger in need, the Scriptures encourage us to show hospitality and kindness to those around us.

This isn’t just about good manners; it’s about reflecting God’s love and creating a more welcoming and inclusive community. By opening our hearts and homes to others, we can build stronger relationships and experience the transformative power of true hospitality.

So, let’s open our hearts and homes, just as the Bible encourages us. By doing so, we can become instruments of God’s love and create a more welcoming and inclusive world for everyone.

Also Read: Bible Verses About Sharing (with Explanation)

Bible Verses About Welcoming Visitors

Hebrews 13:2

“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”

This verse from Hebrews underlines the divine potential in every act of hospitality. By welcoming strangers, believers may unknowingly extend kindness to celestial beings.

It serves as a reminder to treat all visitors with love and openness, recognizing the sacred nature of hospitality.

Romans 12:13

“Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.”

In Romans, the call to contribute to the needs of fellow believers is coupled with an encouragement to actively engage in hospitality.

This verse emphasizes the interconnectedness of the community of faith, fostering an environment where each member feels welcomed and supported.

Matthew 25:35

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.”

This powerful statement from Jesus intertwines physical acts of compassion with spiritual significance.

Welcoming strangers is depicted as a direct expression of caring for Christ Himself. It challenges believers to see the divine in every person and act accordingly.

1 Peter 4:9

“Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.”

Peter’s instruction goes beyond the mere action of hospitality; it emphasizes the attitude behind it.

Believers are encouraged to practice hospitality willingly and joyfully, fostering an environment of genuine warmth and welcome without any hint of reluctance.

Luke 14:13

“But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind.”

In this teaching from Jesus, the concept of hospitality is expanded to include those often marginalized in society.

Believers are called to challenge societal norms and extend genuine welcome to everyone, reinforcing the principle of inclusive love.

3 John 1:8

“Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.”

John connects hospitality with supporting those who carry the message of truth.

Welcoming visitors becomes a way of participating in the work of truth, emphasizing the partnership in spreading God’s word and nurturing a sense of community.

Leviticus 19:34

“But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.”

This Old Testament verse emphasizes the empathy accompanying hospitality.

It grounds the call to welcome strangers in the shared experience of being strangers, highlighting the biblical mandate to extend love and welcome to others based on a common history.

Genesis 18:1-3

“And the Lord appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth and said, ‘O Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant.'”

This passage recounts Abraham’s immediate and humble hospitality towards three strangers, who turn out to be divine messengers.

It showcases the cultural and spiritual significance of welcoming guests with respect and generosity, even when unaware of their true identity.

Matthew 10:40-42

“Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.”

In this teaching, Jesus connects hospitality with a profound spiritual principle. Welcoming messengers of God is not merely a social gesture but is tied to receiving God Himself.

It underscores the importance of recognizing and honoring the spiritual dimensions of hospitality.

Acts 16:14-15

“One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. And after she was baptized, and her household as well, she urged us, saying, ‘If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.’ And she prevailed upon us.”

The account of Lydia’s hospitality in Acts reveals her immediate response to Paul’s message.

Her act of welcoming Paul and his companions into her home not only exemplifies generosity but also signifies a commitment to the shared faith and the bond of fellowship.

Matthew 26:6-13

“Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at the table. And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, ‘Why this waste?'”

This narrative showcases an unconventional form of hospitality through the act of the woman anointing Jesus with expensive perfume.

Despite criticism from others, Jesus commends her for this extravagant gesture, highlighting the importance of heartfelt expressions of love and devotion in welcoming Him.

Luke 19:5-6

“And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.’ So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully.”

The encounter between Jesus and Zacchaeus emphasizes the unexpected and transformative nature of hospitality.

Zacchaeus, a tax collector, is welcomed by Jesus despite societal expectations, leading to a radical change in his life. It illustrates how hospitality can bring about redemption and reconciliation.

1 Timothy 3:2-3

“Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.”

In this passage, Paul outlines qualities for church leaders, including the attribute of being hospitable.

It emphasizes that hospitality is not only a commendable action but a characteristic essential for those in leadership roles, highlighting its significance in fostering a healthy and inclusive Christian community.

Philippians 4:5

“Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand.”

Paul’s exhortation in Philippians encourages believers to exhibit a spirit of kindness and reasonableness towards everyone.

The proximity of the Lord’s presence serves as a powerful motivator for believers to cultivate an environment of hospitality and graciousness in their interactions with others.

Luke 10:38-42

“Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.’ But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.'”

This narrative contrasts the busy hospitality of Martha with the contemplative welcome of Mary.

Jesus emphasizes the value of being present and attentive in His presence, reminding believers that hospitality extends beyond physical service to cultivating a heart that seeks and listens to God.

Matthew 18:5

“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me.”

Jesus highlights the significance of welcoming and caring for the vulnerable, represented here by a child. This verse underscores the profound connection between hospitality and the acknowledgment of each person’s worth in the eyes of God.

Welcoming the marginalized becomes an act of welcoming Christ Himself.

Romans 16:1-2

“I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church at Cenchreae, that you may welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints, and help her in whatever she may need from you, for she has been a patron of many and of myself as well.”

In Paul’s commendation of Phoebe, he encourages believers to welcome her in a manner befitting saints.

This highlights the interconnectedness of the Christian community and the responsibility to provide support and hospitality to fellow believers, recognizing their contributions to the faith.

Luke 19:9-10

“And Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.'”

This encounter between Jesus and Zacchaeus illustrates the transformative power of hospitality. Zacchaeus, a tax collector, experiences salvation through Jesus’ welcoming gesture.

It emphasizes the redemptive nature of hospitality, as the act of welcoming becomes a means through which individuals encounter the saving grace of Christ.

1 Corinthians 16:19-20

“The churches of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house, send you hearty greetings in the Lord. All the brothers send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss.”

Aquila and Prisca’s house serving as a meeting place for the church reflects the communal nature of early Christian gatherings.

This verse encourages believers to express warm greetings and affectionate hospitality, fostering a sense of unity and love within the Christian community.

Hebrews 6:10

“For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.”

This verse reinforces the idea that acts of hospitality and service are not unnoticed by God.

Believers are encouraged to continue in their love and care for others, knowing that God acknowledges and appreciates their efforts in demonstrating hospitality and compassion.

1 Peter 5:2

“Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly.”

Peter’s instruction to shepherd the flock of God encompasses the concept of pastoral care, including the practice of hospitality.

Leaders in the church are called to guide and nurture the community willingly, reflecting a genuine desire to care for and welcome others, mirroring God’s heart for His people.

Matthew 7:12

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”

Known as the Golden Rule, this verse encapsulates the essence of hospitality. Jesus emphasizes reciprocity and treating others as one would want to be treated.

By practicing this principle, believers actively contribute to fostering a culture of welcoming and kindness.

Acts 28:7-8

“Now in the neighborhood of that place were lands belonging to the chief man of the island, named Publius, who received us and entertained us hospitably for three days. It happened that the father of Publius lay sick with fever and dysentery. And Paul visited him and prayed, and putting his hands on him, healed him.”

In this passage, Paul experiences hospitality on the island of Malta. The host, Publius, not only welcomes Paul and his companions but also becomes the recipient of Paul’s healing ministry.

It showcases the reciprocal and transformative nature of hospitality within the context of Christian fellowship.

1 Thessalonians 5:14

“And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.”

Paul’s exhortation to the Thessalonian believers extends beyond general kindness. It includes specific actions of hospitality, such as encouraging the fainthearted and helping the weak.

Hospitality, in this context, becomes a practical expression of compassion and support within the Christian community.

Romans 15:7

“Therefore, welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.”

This verse encapsulates the foundational principle of Christian hospitality. Believers are called to welcome each other in the same way that Christ has welcomed them.

It emphasizes the selfless, gracious, and unconditional nature of the hospitality extended by Christ, serving as a model for believers in their interactions.

Galatians 6:2

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

Paul’s instruction in Galatians underscores the communal responsibility of believers to share the burdens of fellow members in the body of Christ.

This includes the practice of hospitality, as providing support and comfort becomes an integral aspect of fulfilling the law of Christ, characterized by love and care.

James 2:15-16

“If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?”

James addresses the incongruence between verbal expressions of goodwill and the lack of practical action. True hospitality involves not only kind words but tangible acts of assistance.

This passage challenges believers to demonstrate genuine care by meeting the physical needs of those around them.

Revelation 3:20

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”

In the message to the church in Laodicea, Jesus uses the metaphor of knocking at the door, inviting believers to welcome Him into their lives.

This imagery underscores the personal and intimate nature of hospitality with Christ, emphasizing the joy and communion that result from opening one’s heart to Him.

John 13:14-15

“If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.”

In this powerful scene during the Last Supper, Jesus performs the humble act of washing His disciples’ feet. Beyond a literal washing, it symbolizes the essence of servant-hearted hospitality.

Jesus sets a profound example of selfless service, urging believers to emulate this humility in their relationships with one another.

Colossians 3:12-14

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”

Paul’s exhortation to the Colossians emphasizes the virtues that should characterize the life of a believer. Hospitality is intricately woven into the fabric of compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, and love.

The call to bear with one another and forgive echoes the relational aspect of hospitality within the Christian community.

Luke 24:28-31

“So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, but they urged him strongly, saying, ‘Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.’ So he went in to stay with them. When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him.”

The account of the disciples on the road to Emmaus portrays an unsuspecting act of hospitality. In inviting the stranger (Jesus, unrecognized at first) to stay with them, the disciples experience a profound revelation during the breaking of bread.

This narrative underscores the transformative power of hospitality, where welcoming others can lead to encountering the divine in unexpected ways.

Also Read: Bible Verses About Sharing (with Explanation)

What Does the Bible Say About Welcoming Visitors?

The Bible places significant emphasis on welcoming visitors, expressing the importance of hospitality as a fundamental aspect of Christian living.

The theme of welcoming others is woven throughout both the Old and New Testaments, reflecting God’s character and the values He desires for His people.

Love for Strangers: The Bible encourages believers to extend love and hospitality to strangers. In Hebrews 13:2, it states, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” This verse underscores the idea that in welcoming strangers, one may unknowingly be welcoming divine messengers or representing Christ Himself.

Inclusivity: Numerous passages stress the inclusivity of hospitality. In Luke 14:13, Jesus advises, “But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind.” This challenges believers to extend hospitality beyond social norms, emphasizing the welcoming of everyone, regardless of societal status.

Acts of Service: Hospitality in the Bible often involves practical acts of service. In John 13:14-15, Jesus washes His disciples’ feet, setting an example of humble service. This act goes beyond mere words, illustrating the need for tangible expressions of care and kindness.

A Short Prayer About Welcoming Visitors

Dear Heavenly Father,

We come before you with hearts filled with gratitude for the gift of community and fellowship. As we gather in this sacred space, we seek your guidance and grace in welcoming visitors with open arms.

May our hospitality reflect the warmth of your love, embracing newcomers with kindness and understanding. Grant us the wisdom to see beyond differences and the humility to appreciate the unique gifts each person brings into our midst.

Lord, may this place be a sanctuary of acceptance, where all who enter feel the love that radiates from your presence. Bless our interactions, that they may be filled with genuine warmth, compassion, and a spirit of inclusion.

We ask for your guidance in creating an atmosphere where every visitor feels seen, valued, and welcomed as a cherished member of our extended family. Let this fellowship be a testimony to the boundless love that you shower upon us.

In Jesus’ name, we pray.