Flies are flies and bees are bees. But there is more difference between the two than just how they look or sound.
Simply put, flies don’t nest. There is no cooperation between them – only self-interest. Flies have no collective identity or higher order of specialization – they are the anarchists of the insect world.
Bees are quite a different story. The fundamental context of the bee world is the hive.
Here we see distinct roles based on cooperation. Instinct still dominates. Worker bees don’t “chose” to be worker bees. The queen is not elected by the others. Together, organized by the higher thoughts of God, they serve each other, enjoy sweet nectar and spread life everywhere they land.
Collectively the fruit of their effort is honey – an outflowing gift to the world.
What a metaphor for the church!
Jesus demonstrated “community”. He formed a small “hive”. In that setting He established different roles. Peter, Andrew, James, and John were the “inner circle”. Even Judas Iscariot had a role as the “treasurer” of the community. (John 12:5-6)
Jesus announced a new spiritual community based on Principles – not Laws. He alone could, and would, fulfill the “Law” permitting us to embrace the Kingdom Principles free of guilt and shame. We don’t need to strive or get caught up in performance that can never be satisfactory. The finished work of the Cross declares a new people in a new relationship.
The discourse on healing on the Sabbath, the parable of the lost sheep and His disposition of the woman caught in adultery all declare His mission of love – not judgement. In Matthew 5:21-48 He “reinterprets” Law into Principle six times with the language of “You have heard it said…but I tell you…” Each statement encourages us to right-living – not legal rationalization.
He invites us to commune (“share together”) with Him and fully experience the mystery and diversity of Creation. Jesus is not looking for a Kingdom populated by servants. He is calling each of us up into being Saints – a royal priesthood reconciled to the Father.
His command was not to establish an institution but to go and make Disciples (followers). Implicit in that commission is us becoming Disciples. As students, we are learning. As followers we are living the teachings of our Master and sharing hem with others. The “vine” of our mission is community and as disciples we are the “branches”.
All of Scripture points to the Father’s plan for a company of those chosen by Him to be in relationship with Him. Beginning with the first family (Adam and Eve), expanding to the extended family (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob), branching out to the tribe (Israel) and ultimately to the ends of the Earth.
As heralds of an emerging Kingdom, making “disciples of the nations” means we can confidently expect to discover new saints and communities already destined for us to bless. We are the “feet on the mountain” (Isaiah 52:7) bringing the Good News of the Kingdom to the oppressed, the sick and the lost.
We can do no less.
This is the third installment of a series by Pastor Bob Young. Click here to read part one titled, “How To Live In Conflicted Times.”