Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers(Heb 13:1-2 NIV)
This passage says continue the philadelphia, but don’t neglect the philoxenia.
Philadelphia is the love of the brothers, those from the same family.
Philoxenia is the love of the strangers, those that are outsiders.
I think it’s interesting that the NIV and the KJV both leave out a big section of the original greek here that says basically:
‘love strangers and outsiders, unless they take away your jobs, disgust you, or don‚Äôt fit in with your way of life.’
You know why the NIV and KJV leave that out? It’s a conspiracy. Because it’s not in there. We are to love our enemies and strangers just like they are family.
I remember one time I had a friend that had to travel by land across several former Soviet countries to get his Visa renewed. His wife and daughter lived in the country we were in, and he had to go across about 12 countries to go to his native land and renew his visa.
Upon leaving country #1 (I’ll say the first country) he was detained for no apparent reason and spent about 24 hours in a shack on the border. He had no food, and he wondered what was going to happen to him. The next day, when they realized he could pay them no bribe, they sent him onward. We didn’t hear from him for days and days and we wondered what ever happened to him.
Then one day I went to the market, and went around the corner, and there he was! Do you know what joy I had in seeing him?! I was OVER joyed. I gave him a big hug and even though neither of us shared a common language he motioned and talked and said he had just gotten back the day before.
I had brotherly love for him. I feared for his life and for his wife and daughter in this strange land. I told my wife, later, what if whenever we saw someone, we greeted them like we greeted Sly today? For one, people would probably think we were pretty weird.
But then, what if we greeted all visitors, even STRANGErs, with a joyful reception?
Love your brothers, but don’t neglect loving the strange.