In our quest to ‘Rediscover The Jesus You Never Knew,’ it becomes essential to understand the concept of the church, not as an institution but as a community of Christ followers. Often, the word “church” brings to mind a building or an organization. However, Jesus presented a vision far removed from these modern interpretations.
When Jesus spoke of the church, he used the Greek word “ekklesia,” which means “assembly” or “gathering.” It was less about a physical structure and more about the community of believers. In Matthew 18:20, Jesus says, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” This statement gives the idea that the church is wherever believers come together in His spirit.
The Church as a Community of Love and Service
Central to Jesus’ teaching is the commandment to love one another. In John 13:34-35, He says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” The church, therefore, is a community where this commandment comes to life – a space where love, service, and mutual support are the defining characteristics.
It’s crucial to dismantle the common misconception that the church is primarily a place of rigid dogma or a social club for the religiously like-minded. While doctrine is important, the church, as Jesus envisioned, is more about living out His teachings in everyday life. It’s a dynamic, evolving community where faith is expressed through actions and relationships.
The true church is a gathering of believers where the love of Christ comes alive.
The Role of the Church in Society
Jesus’ teachings also extend the role of the church to being a light in society. In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:14-16), He tells his followers, “You are the light of the world… let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” This implies that the church should be actively involved in addressing societal issues, promoting justice, and showing compassion to the marginalized.
In rediscovering Jesus’ teachings about the church, we find a call to form communities rooted in love, service, and a commitment to living out the teachings of Christ. The church is not confined to a building or an institution; it is a living, breathing embodiment of Jesus’ message, gathered in His name, wherever that may be.
As we continue on our journey, let us embrace this vision of the church – a gathering of individuals united by faith, love, and the desire to embody the teachings of Jesus in every aspect of their lives. This is the church in its purest, most biblical form, as envisioned by Jesus.