Mixing Faith with Life, Part 1

Mark 2:1-12 contains a story that is stunning. Jesus lived in Capernaum and he returned home. A crowd showed up and people who arrived later could not hear Jesus preaching. Four men showed up with a paralyzed friend. They couldn’t reach Jesus through the crowd, so they created a hole in the roof of Jesus’ house and lowered their friend.

Think about the scene for a minute.

What was that like for Jesus? He’s preaching – doing what God sent Him to do – and these guys show up and create a large hole in His roof! How would you or I respond? I think I’d be distracted by people tearing a hole in my roof while I’m trying to work. I’d probably holler at them, “Hey! What gives? Can’t you see I’m trying to get some work done here?”

What was this like for the people in Jesus’ house? They’d come to hear Jesus preach; to learn about God. And these idiots are trying to tear down His house!  How rude. I imagine some saying, “We showed up early enough to get a good seat, buddy. You don’t get to tear down the house because you can’t see or hear!”

Jesus had a different response. He didn’t see vandals, he saw faith.

Faith can be messy. Sometimes it’s loud and inconvenient. Faith bothers some people – even some people of faith! People complained, and they had some right and some reason to complain (we’ll cover that later).

Jesus? He had a plan. The hole in the roof? Part of the plan.

Faith is disruptive.

In an upcoming post, we’ll see Jesus Himself be disruptive. He disrupted my life, that much is certain. He wants to disrupt your life, too. I’m sometimes asked, “Why don’t you create separate social media accounts for posting your religious thoughts, Andy?” It’s because Jesus’ love motivates me to write and work and think and share. Someone reading this post will eventually be disrupted by Jesus, maybe that someone is you.

Jesus is the Answer

I’d like to tell you about my friend, whom I’ll call Tony (not his real name). Like me, Tony is a member of the body of Christ that meets at Piedmont Church of Christ.

Tony once believed and practiced Islam. Tony’s life hasn’t been easy or simple. He struggles. He works hard. Things don’t always go Tony’s way.

Tony and I don’t agree on everything. I’ve learned quite a bit from him and he’s learned some things from me. I love him and he loves me. Why? Because we’re brothers in Christ.

Tony and I are members of the body of Christ. As such, we are different.  Look at 1 Corinthians 12:

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The Holy Spirit, inspiring the Apostle Paul, teaches us all about different gifts in the first part of 1 Corinthians 12. Verse 4 begins, “Now there are varieties of gifts…” We are different and that is according to God’s design. We have different gifts. This leads to different perspectives.

We are like a physical body with its different members. Each member of a physical body has a different function, a different purpose. Each member is specialized. Like members of a physical body, the body of Christ is made up of many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body. That’s what 1 Corinthians 12:12 tells us.

Tony and I are different. Tony is a black man and I am a mixture of German, Scottish, Irish, and Cherokee. Tony once believed in Islam. I once believed in something (agnostic) and eventually found Christ. We have different backgrounds and different perspectives.

We are members of the body of Christ. Why? Because we know God and obey the gospel (2 Thessalonians 1:8). We were baptized into the body of Christ (Romans 6:3, Galatians 3:27).

How do people of such opposing backgrounds come to love one another? There is only one answer: Jesus is the Answer.

Why Feed the Birds?

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For the birds…

Winter weather is predicted for Farmville and I am out of bird seed.

But wait – Jesus told his disciples, “Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!” (Luke 12:24, English Standard Version). God’s got this. It’s in the Bible. I don’t need to feed the birds. Right?

For the people…

No matter what you believe about the eternal destination of people, all followers of Christ believe Jesus knows who will spend eternity with him in heaven. So if Christ already knows, why evangelize?

Are we are Christ’s Body?

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In 1 Corinthians 12:12-13, Paul writes that we are Christ’s body. We are his hands and feet.

Is it possible that Jesus is feeding the birds – and reaching those who will spend eternity with him in heaven – by using his body?