What does 1 Peter 4:9 mean?
ESV: Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.
NIV: Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
NASB: Be hospitable to one another without complaint.
CSB: Be hospitable to one another without complaining.
NLT: Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.
KJV: Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
NKJV: Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.
Verse Commentary:
Peter continues teaching how Christians should live in response to the understanding that the end of all things is near. History marches on towards a close, and Christ may return as judge at any time. Peter's first command in this passage was to keep our minds clear and alert so we can pray. Next he told us to strive to love each other earnestly, as an athlete works to win a race.

Now in this this verse, Peter urges Christians to demonstrate love by offering hospitality without grumbling. Modern Christians tend to think of hospitality as having people over for dinner, or hosting a visiting missionary family. In Peter's day, Christian hospitality was a much greater need and had the potential to be a great burden, as well.

For one thing, many Christians were forced to flee persecution. Often, this meant traveling with limited means. These refugees relied on brothers and sisters in Christ to share homes and food, as they passed through from one town or region to another.

Such hospitality could be risky. For one, those doing the sharing may not have had much themselves. For another, sharing your home with strangers could be dangerous if they weren't who they claimed to be. Even legitimate believers could take advantage of a fellow Christian's generosity beyond what was reasonable. Still, Peter reminds his readers—and us—that is how family loves each other. It's part of our purpose as God's set-apart people. We should embrace the opportunity to give that kind of sacrificial love, instead of offering such hospitality reluctantly.
Verse Context:
1 Peter 4:1–11 urges Christians to take on Jesus’ attitude toward suffering. We should see it as an expected part of fulfilling God’s purpose for us on earth. Those who willingly endure suffering for Christ set the course of their lives away from mind-numbing sins. This is true even when those who still commit those sins bad-mouth them. We must stay alert so that we can pray in these end times. We must keep loving each other, using God’s gifts to serve each other with God’s power in and through us, so all the glory goes to Him.
Chapter Summary:
Peter continues to describe how Christians should respond when faced with persecution: Take on Christ’s attitude, and expect God’s purpose for your life to include suffering. Set the course of your life away from mind-numbing pleasure seeking. Be alert so that you can pray effectively in these end times. In fact, rejoice if you share in Christ’s sufferings. God uses suffering to refine the faith of His people, and our present suffering contributes to future glory. If you suffer, keep doing good while trusting your soul to your Creator.
Chapter Context:
Peter’s letter to Christians is about how to live in the world while suffering for faith in Christ. Thus far, he has assured Christians that their future is secure with God. We are His holy people, set apart for His purposes. Christians are called to live in submission to every human authority. Now in chapter 4, Peter writes that we should take Jesus’ attitude toward suffering and expect it in this life, avoiding mind-numbing sin while loving each other earnestly. God may use suffering in this life to refine our faith, but the end of all things is near.
Book Summary:
Some 30 years after the resurrection of Jesus, Christians are facing greater persecution for their faith. How should they respond? How should we respond to suffering today? The apostle Peter writes this letter both to comfort believers and to encourage them to stay strong. He urges them to put all their hope in their perfect future with Christ, and to obey and trust Him in the present, even in their suffering. Christ suffered greatly; now the Christ-followers have the opportunity to follow Him even in this, showing His grace and power in their hopefulness, obedience, and faith.
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Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV, NKJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.