Back in the day, Ray Stevens asked the musical (and theological) question—Would Jesus wear a Rolex? I think Jesus would’ve had a $10.99 Walmart special or, more likely, no watch at all. As God, Jesus isn’t bound by time. Would Jesus drive a BMW? Again, I think not. I think he enjoyed the long walks he took with The Twelve as they moved from city to city, teaching in the synagogues.
I love our little 2006 Honda Civic. It seems like a good car for a preacher–excellent gas mileage, low maintenance, very functional. And the fact that it’s 12 years old and has 197,000 miles on the odometer makes it somewhat unpretentious transportation. We live down the street from a preacher who drives a Mercedes sports car, which would be fine were it not for the two other Mercedes and a Lexus sitting in his four-car garage. But who am I to judge?
The only problem we’ve had with our Honda is tire wear. The first 100,000 miles, we put four or five new sets of tires on it. Finally, I took it to Howdy Honda and said, “Fix it, please!” Come to find out, there had been a recall on this model because it was manufactured without the correct parts for wheel alignment. They installed the right parts, aligned the wheels, balanced the tires and Voila! … the car rolled straight and true, even down the narrowest pathways.
Proper alignment is critical, isn’t it? Without it, the tendency is to wander off the pathway and to wear out way too quickly. This is true for so many things mechanically. But it’s especially true spiritually. If we, as the body of Christ, are not in alignment with the head (that is, Christ), then we will not function properly as a church.
Paul writes to the church in Ephesus, “Speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him, the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work” (Ephesians 4:15-16).
Earlier in that same chapter, Paul talks about all the tools Jesus has given to us “to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12-13).
It’s pretty simple really… when the body of Christ is in alignment with the head, it looks a whole lot more like Jesus! Instead of acting like cry babies who are tossed around and blown away by every false teaching and lie of Satan, we are the growing and maturing people of God.
There are two ways we do that. First, Paul says that we must speak the truth in love—speak the truth of scripture and the truth of our identity. God’s word is truth and it must be preached in love. As the people of God, we are to remind one another of who we are over and over and over. Secondly, we must do our part. We will only grow to maturity in Christ “when each part does its work” (verse 16c).
So the obvious question is, Do you know what your part is? What part do you play in bringing about the proper alignment between the body and the head, so that we will grow to be a church that looks like Jesus?
And then the second obvious question: Are you doing it? Are you doing your part so that the body of Christ is built up? That’s the catch. We cannot reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of Jesus, becoming mature and attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ until ALL of us are doing our part. Not a few of us. Not some or most of us. ALL of us.
May ALL of us do our part so that the church will grow to be more like Jesus.
“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).