When I was a child my father would say things in a funny voice. For instance, instead of saying “underwear” he would say it more like “unawears.”
So, when I would be packing to go overnight somewhere he would say, “did you pack clean unawears?”
Well, one day at church, my dad was speaking in Hebrews 13 and he read verse two, which says, “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
Immediately I turned to my mother and said “they entertained angel’s underwear?”
My mother began trying to stifle a church laugh, the lady in front of us heard me as well and began laughing. I was merely confused about what I was supposed to do with angel’s underwear. I didn’t even know angels wore underwear.
I learned a lot in church that day.
I was reminded of this incident as I was preparing my sermon on Hebrews 13 last week. I did not bring it up during the sermon as it would not have been edifying at the time, merely a distraction. Let it be noted for the record: I used restraint.
Entertaining angels while not knowing it, is something that happened to Abraham, Lot, Gideon, and Menoah. Jewish people would be familiar with these guys and would know what the writer of Hebrews was getting at.
This does not mean that every time you see a stranger it’s an angel. Not does it mean you should necessarily expect an angelic visit. Angel visits were not normative. Four guys had it happen to them. But it did happen!
Imagine how your view of strangers would change if you assumed they were angels?! Wal-Mart might just be filled with angels! Act accordingly. And get some clean unawears while you’re at it.
Additional Note: this same word caused me some confusion in Jude 1:4 as well. An equally hilarious verse when mispronouncing “underwear!”