Advancing the Conversation of Jesus
NOTE that Jesus says that he will build his church. That’s the only kind of church that will not be overpowered. So if Jesus is building the church, what does he want us who follow him to do? Let’s get it straight: HE BUILDS THE CHURCH; WE ARE TO BE THE CHURCH. Jesus never intended for the institution of the Church to be the main thing for his followers to gather around; he meant for the church to be the growing movement that gathers around him and other followers. This is why he only mentions “church” on two occasions.
ONE MORE THING: What is this “church” that Jesus says he will build? The Greek term is ekklesia. It literally means those who are “called out” for a reason. This could refer to a city council, an assembly or a gathering of any kind. So, this term is a very common term and has no great spiritual significance at all.
When Jesus speaks of “building” his “church”, he is speaking of a gathering of those who are followers of Jesus. The revolutionary movement of Jesus is being built-energized-by Jesus himself. Nothing can stop this movement. Don’t you see that this kind of movement is the Kingdom movement.
NOTE that those who are actively expressing this confession of being followers of Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of the living God are given the “keys of the Kingdom” to bind things on earth. And, those things that are bound on earth are also bound in heaven. This is the essence of the Kingdom teaching. There is no separation between the earth and the heavens. Why?
The Kingdom of heaven is all about living life on earth in its widest context. The Pharisees loosed and bound things on the earth and placed them in a restrictive box. Their underlying theme is exclusivism as many teach today. Their emphasis was the letter of the law, adding rule after rule. Jesus is all-inclusive and into the spirit of the law. This is why they were so frustrated with Jesus and his Kingdom teachings. It’s the presence of God in and through us right here, right now. Here’s how it works: Confess that Jesus is God’s deliverer for planet earth and he wants to set up his Kingdom right here among us RIGHT NOW.
So, when it comes to the church of Jesus, do your best to do church in a bigger way. Don’t just go to church; be the church! Do your best to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and be the church (assembly or gathering) in the freedom and movement of the Kingdom of God. It doesn’t get any better than that and it doesn’t get any bigger than that!