Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mark 6:4 commentary: Is Christ honored in His house?

4 But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.

Deuteronomy 18:15 The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;

Deuteronomy 18:18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.

With regard to John the Baptist whom they thought might be that Prophet and asked him;

John 1:21 And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.

Country would be a place but the last two words Christ uses, kin and house, describe family. Kin we know but house refers to a family or a dynasty in ruling terms.

Exodus 1:21 And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses.

1King 12:19 So Israel rebelled against the house of David unto this day.

It is interesting to note that in the Old Testament the house of God is a place while under grace the house of God is a group of people, a family.

Genesis 28:17 And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.

1Peter 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

It is common for us fundamentalists to refer to the church building as the house of God. But, it confuses our doctrine to say that and lends a carnal, temporal touch to our belief much like asking the Holy Spirit to come down on a meeting that, if the Holy Spirit isn’t already there then no one in the meeting is saved. A new Christian or an unsaved person can leave such a meeting not understanding that the believers they were with are the house of God, the body of Christ, and the Holy Spirit was there and is always present within each of us. It’s one of those things that those of us who left them held over from the Roman Catholic Church which was an organization not an organism.

This idea was based on the structure of the pagan Roman Empire and everything had to be interpreted in the very concrete and earthly dimensions of the Roman mind which could only conceive of being inheritors of and carrying on the physical Hebrew theocracy of David’s kingdom. It’s very comforting but erroneous. There are no sacred spaces in Christianity except in the believer’s heart. The Christianity that has sacred places, sacred relics, sacred groves, sacred temples, sacred altars is not the Christianity of the Bible but merely another pagan religion. The church that belongs to Christ is His body on earth. It is a living organism, a living body with its head in Heaven, not simply an organization.

There is an important parallel here for the Christian. Your family and friends, with whom you grew up, will be less likely to accept the change that comes over you when you got saved.

With regard to Christ Himself;

Isaiah 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Is Christ held in low regard in His own house, in the body of Christ, His own church? How much is Christ elevated in your church body? Are Christ’s moral teachings more important to you than who He is, God in the flesh? Is the Sermon on the Mount more real to you than the Resurrection? Is the Golden Rule more important to you than the Translation of the church? Is being a positive force in the community or in politics of more value to you than worshipping a Risen Saviour? Is your so-called service for the Lord more important than sitting at His feet and letting Him speak to you through His words in the Bible?

There are at least two types of Christianity. The Christianity of the Founders of our country was one of honoring the moral values of the New Testament, not the deity of the one who gave those moral values. The Christianity called for in the Bible includes the moral values, but elevates Christ as being the central focus of the religion not the moral values He imparted without His elevation.

Then within the second Christianity there are two sides. The one says the Christian must examine the moral values that Christ manifests and choose to follow them. That is Humanism, pure and simple. It assumes power on your part you really don’t have to change yourself without uplifting your will in God’s place. It makes the Bible a manual of training rather than a Living Book that speaks to your heart.

The truly Biblical Christianity acknowledges that the believer submits to Christ and Christ makes all the changes through His word; written, spoken, and preached. You choose whom you will follow but you have no control over where they will lead. If you honor Christ you will surrender your will to His, not to your good intentions.

It is interesting to note that with regard to Jesus’ earthly family his brother, James, eventually became a follower.

Galatians 1:19 But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother.

On the cross, Jesus assigned the care of His mother to the Apostle, John.

John 19:26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!

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