Jesus Church
Called To Community (Part 2 – The Family)
January 23, 2022

Called To Community (Part 2 – The Family)

January 23, 2022

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Called to Community

Part 2 – The Family


Welcome back to Jesus Church: Here and Online

  • Last week we started a new series on community
    • And how we believe that Community is God plan for his people
    • Over and over community is assumed in the scriptures
    • Particularly looking at the early church – tons of community
  • And we live in a world that is not all about community
    • Numbers at down 50% in any community requiring commitment
    • It’s not just church
    • And because of that we are more lonely than ever
  • And loneliness is a dangerous thing to allow in your life
    • It will kill you… and the culture around you
    • Because lonely people still congregate
      • They just do it in a very unhealthy way
      • Instead of unifying over love… it’s over hate
      • Instead of unifying over what for… its what again

And in the life of Jesus… his whole world revolved around his community

  • Jesus didn’t have a disciple – He had disciples
    • And the group he had wasn’t conventional
    • They came from all over the 1st century spectrum
    • From religious to sin… from anti-gov to work for the gov
  • And Jesus makes it very clear that to be in his community
    • There will be a cost
    • We don’t like to sacrifice… we don’t like to commit
  • Jesus calls us to both – And the question I have to answer
    • If Jesus walked by and said “follow me”
    • Would I leave my nets to follow him
    • Or would I say the cost is too great

Today we continue our journey into what community needs to be (Pray)

Mark 3:31-35 (NIV)

Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, (inner ring of his apprentices) and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you. Who are my mother and my brothers? He asked. Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and siter and mother.

  • Notice for Jesus: Those with him he considers his family
    • What is the #1 thing Jesus calls God: Father
    • And what does Jesus calls apprentices: Brothers/Sisters/Mother
  • In Greek – Adelphoy (Used by Jesus and all NT writers)
    • To describe how we related to each other
    • Used 342 times just in the New Testament
  • This is the main word to describe how community looks to Jesus
    • And there are all types of community
      • Cross-fit
      • Fantasy football
      • Women’s Bible Study
      • Marriage

For Jesus the type of community we are: Family

  • And this idea we hear of Jesus and family sounds nice & sweet
    • Probably most radical teachings in the New Testament
    • One that pushed the line so far… led to his crucifixion
  • To understand why that is… need a little context in 1st cent. Culture
    • Won’t take very long – But it is necessary
    • And then we will bring it back together

2 things about culture Jesus grew up in

1: There is something called a collective and individual society

  • Jesus’ world was 100% a collective society
    • In a collective society, a personal sees themselves to be a member of a group and is responsible to the group for their actions. That includes all parts of life. The individual in accountable to the group and is only free to do what they wish if it is in line with group norms and only if the action is in the groups best interest. The group has priority over the individual member
    • Some examples of these cultures: Korean… African… Arabic
      • Basically every culture in history except western culture
  • Our culture today is considered individualistic
    • Where the individual has priority over the group
      • Many people think personal preference is most important
      • It’s the me first mentality
    • In fact if you’ve ever watched star trek
      • There is one main character from a collective society
      • And they literally make him an alien
      • Because it just doesn’t sound like planet Earth
    • And for many it doesn’t just sound weird… it sounds oppressive
      • Because the west has a new view of freedom
        • Ability to do whatever I want
        • So long that it doesn’t harm others in our perception
        • But that’s not a 1st century Christian view of freedom
  • All that to say Jesus world was a collective society
    • Primary group was your family

2. Family was all defined by the Father… not by marriage

  • So your family went from father > son on the male side only
    • This is why there are no sur names in the Bible
    • Its this guy son of that guy… son of that guy… son of that guy
  • Matters because this culture – Spouse technically not part of family
    • So marriage was arraigned… could still have love & romance
    • But marriage was more about what was best for group than you
  • All to say… closest relational bond was with siblings not spouse
    • Same way we assume that closest relationship is with wife
    • Jesus day would assume closest relationship is with siblings
      • One example from literature – Marc Anthony & Octavia
      • Has to choose between lover and brother… choses brother
      • Because that would be your primary loyalty

So keeping that in mind: What does Jesus call disciples: Brother & Sister

  • The closest relationship you could have in his world
    • So Jesus calls disciples to function like a community style family
    • And this was absolutely radical in his day
  • And not because he wants his community to function like a family
    • Wasn’t a new idea… Page 1 says we’re designed for relationship
    • The center of everything revolves around relational love of trinity

Gen. 1:26

The God said, “Let US make mankind in OUR image, in OUR likeness…

  • So God Himself exists in this web of relationships
    • And Jesus himself who calls God Father: Exists in Family

Gary Basheers

God is a family who makes family.

  • God is love… and love cannot exist without relationship
    • We are created out of the overflow of God relational love
    • And we are created in God’s image and likeness
      • So we are created for relationship and family
      • In the rhythm of the same love God flows in

So none is new… it’s as Genesis says “In the beginning”

But #1 of what was radical of Jesus compared to the cultural normal

  • Jesus defines family not by a father’s blood line
  • And if you think there is ethic tension today – Jesus world was worse
    • And what Jesus says is: Regardless of where you come from
    • You are welcome into the family of God… not just Jews
    • And this was one of the things that got Jesus killed
  • In fact the specific event that got Jesus killed: Cleansing of temple
    • Look at the cleansing of the temple…
    • What Jesus says at the end of that story
    • This is what puts the nail in the coffin

Mk 11:17

My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations (ethnos), but you have made it a den of robbers.

  • This was a quote from Isaiah saying you’ve lost the plot line
    • This place that is God and humanity together isn’t just for you
    • It was never meant for that… but for all nations of the world
    • Israel was supposed to be an example to the world
      • You don’t say that in Jerusalem and walk away alive

The #2 thing which was even more radical in Jesus day

  • Jesus called us to put the community family ahead of cultural family
    • When Jesus says: My brother & sister are those who do Gods will
      • In our world… that might not mean much
      • We are way more about the individual… divorce prevalent
    • In Jesus world that was unthinkable – Oldest male in family line
      • He is responsible before God and Community
      • For his Mother… brothers…
  • But Jesus is saying his blood family is part of a much bigger family
    • And that family is the most important
  • We read Jesus teachings 2 ways – Soapbox or Suitcase
    • Jesus teachings about marriage… pro family… love we soapbox
    • Jesus teachings about reject your father/mother to follow me…
      • Best way to read: This is a very traditional culture
      • If you got baptized into Jesus… Jews held a funeral for you
      • That’s the level of identity
    • Jesus saying you have to give up idea of blood family
      • In order to join this family that is for everyone
      • Because you can’t be in both…

And this is also hard for us to hear today… its at odds with how we live

  • Jesus said that it isn’t all about what’s best or comfortable for you
    • And we know Jesus was never about individualism
    • He lived out this every day of his life
    • And we know Jesus came to teach us how to live
  • What proceeds from those teachings in the 1st century church
    • Follow the same guidelines and expectations
    • The good of the church takes priority over the individual
    • And honestly I don’t like that AT ALL!

In the church, a personal sees themselves to be a member of the church and is responsible to the church for their actions. That includes all parts of life. The individual in accountable to the church and is only free to do what they wish if it is in line with church norms and only if the action is in the churches best interest. The church has priority over the individual member.

  • And I know some of you now think I’m starting a cult
    • And this is the Kool-Aide
    • Because this is so counter-cultural
    • Its counter-cultural to me… this goes in the suitcase not soapbox

No guilt trip… but this isn’t how we grow up in the US

Yet this is the call of Jesus to us as a family

  • And to be a child of the father – Is to be brother/sister in the family
    • Paul is always talking about adoption
    • When adoption happens it is legally binding
      • If we adopted a little girl… wouldn’t just be our daughter
      • She would be Joey & Lyla’s sister
    • And you don’t get a choice in that… family doesn’t pick
      • You can’t be in relationship with the father
      • And not be in relationship with the siblings
  • Way we should read text about adoption & justification (1st century)
    • It’s less about you being individually free from penalty of sin
    • More about you becoming part of the family of God
      • Its about the baptism from one family to a new family

1 Cor 6:12,14-15a

All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be dominated by anything… and God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. (symbol of baptism) Do you not know that your bodies are member of Christ?

  • So Paul is saying… sure I can do whatever I want
    • But my baptism is into a body of members… or a family of God
    • And b/c of that – The community is greater than the individual

With all that: What does this mean for us in community

First – Jesus vision of church for us in is that of a family

  • We say this all the time… but for Jesus the church is simply a family
    • And that is how we are to operate in relationship
    • Think of basic practices of a healthy family
      • Spend time together… eat together
      • Look out for each other… forgive each other
      • Also hold each other accountable (discipline or intervention)
  • All healthy family have healthy balance of acceptance/accountability
    • Family of Jesus is no different
    • All done in love with the goal of restoration
    • But we need both in healthy family
  • Also healthy family bares each others burdens

Gal. 6:1-5 (ESV)

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ (law of family). For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself (individualism). But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.

  • Might sound contradictory… Burdens and Load
    • But the picture was that a Roman military backpack
    • And soldier could ask you to carry his burden to next town
    • But that doesn’t mean his job is now your job
  • If you are struggle with something and need some help
    • It’s the family’s responsibility to help you walk through that
    • But in now way should that transfer to my responsibility
      • I can help you if you need someone to watch your kids
      • But I am not and should not be their dad

Tag: These are all the pictures of life together in the family of Jesus

Unfortunately relationship is always under attack

Enemy tries to use this to keep you from relationship with God & others

  • Ironically I think even emotion of loneliness shows intelligent design
    • Because at our core… truth is we are designed for relationship
    • We are born with longing to be in the lives of others
    • Fundamentally humans are relational beings..
  • From time we’re in womb our brain is wired to be attached to people
    • Psychologists call this part of brain the attachment system
    • Attachment Theory… built in by God from before birth
    • Starts with eye contact between mother and baby while feeding
  • How we attach or don’t attach as a kid becomes part of who we are
    • It becomes the way attach or don’t attach in adult relationships
    • This is why kids in foster care need so much love
    • As well as any adult who felt that rejection as a child
      • So how we succeed/fail in adult relationships
      • Formed from a very young age

4 types of attachment that we see manifest in our lives

  • Avoidance: Parents are consistently unavailable emotionally
    • And we pick up that we can’t trust others
      • As adults… any form of intimacy (romantic, friends, church)
      • We immediately push back because we feel there is no trust
    • It might be completely subconscious
      • But on a gut level we push back b/c we can’t trust others
      • So we have to stay away
  • Anxious: Parents are consistently unreliable
    • Don’t grow the child’s sense of love from mom and dad
    • We pick up that we can’t trust ourselves
    • Become anxious in relationships: clingy/smother/codependent
      • Don’t have strong sense of self to love another
  • Scattered: Parents unavailable and unreliable (worst of both worlds)
    • So we can’t trust other or ourselves
    • Can’t love or be loved
  • Secured Attachment – Children well loved and parents available
    • Kids digest the idea that world is a good place
    • I can trust most people and myself
    • And these people tend to do better loving and being loved

Takeaway: Only way to heal unhealthy attachment style… relationships

  • Because it all comes down to love and trust
    • If we don’t know how to love & trust other or ourselves as kids
    • It will bleed into a lack of ability to love & trust in God as adults
  • And that’s not something you can read a book to fix
    • There’s no pill… an app… self awareness is big step…
    • But it doesn’t fix it – Only way to heal this part of our soul
      • Is a healthy loving relationship

James Penbreaker: Research on trauma and effect on adult mental health

  • Why do some people seem to recover and others never do
    • Started believing it would be trauma with shame (rape/suicide)
    • Found he was totally wrong… nature of trauma didn’t matter
  • What mattered is if person effected was now in a loving relationship
    • If they had a family… community… support group
    • Almost everyone came back healthy regardless of type of trauma
  • Because we are hurt at the deepest level by relationships
    • But we are healed at the deepest level by relationship

And why wouldn’t we be… you see it all makes sense

Healing is a regeneration of body and soul from sin and pain

  • And in healthy Godly relationship… we regain what was lost
    • And in that space – We are healed
    • Why… because God is there
  • End with story of Peter after rejecting Jesus…
    • Peter do you love me… Feed my lambs…
    • Do you love me… Shepherd my sheep…
    • Do you love me… Feed my sheep…
  • Peters healing comes through love of Jesus (around food)
    • And by putting him into community once again
    • Heart behind Community: Bring healing and freedom to our souls


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