A friend of mine was talking about the teaching course she was following. During the course of this conversation, she mentioned how the trainer was happy that she had knelt down, to be at the same level as the child and thus maintain eye contact. Yes, standing and looking down at a child is intimidating without a doubt. A child will be threatened and defensive at this gesture rather than be comfortable and receptive. Being at the same level facilitates the latter.
You can just imagine the terror of the people when they saw Goliath, the giant. Similar scenario – well, no, perhaps even more dramatic of a scenario. The difference in height could be rather imposing and un-nerving. However, it’s not just the distance that creates this response. The concept of hierarchy and especially authoritarianism – where one is considered to be ‘greater’ or ‘higher’ than the other – creates similar reactions too.
Jesus modelled an amazing example… He could have easily stayed in His comfort zone, in heaven, at the right hand of His Father. Yet God sent Him to live on earth. He came down to our level to reach out to us. While on earth, Jesus would go up to the mountainside early in the mornings to speak to His Father alone. Yet He would come “down” to the people…
He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coast of Tyre and Sidon, – Luke 6:17
He would go to the different villages, walking without even a place to lay His head.
Jesus reached the people where the people were, and the people would go to Him.
Jesus was relational. He wouldn’t invite people to be prayed over and give a hug with a meaningless response, “God knows all that”. When He knew the people were hungry, He didn’t say, “Go and eat” or “Don’t worry, you don’t have food but God knows that”. Instead He gave them food… and there were leftovers too. Jesus would go to the level of the people and respond according to where they were at. He reached out to people holistically, not just spiritually.
Rebuking the religious leaders, Jesus broke the legalism and hierarchy through actions. As far as He was concerned, there was only one person to please and look up to – His Heavenly Father. Human authoritarianism was condemned. We believers often mistake roles and responsibilities to assume hierarchy and position, expecting others to bow down to us and bend over backwards obeying us without questioning. Yet that is not what Jesus Christ taught us. God sent His son to earth and became one with us… and He gives us free will.
The gifts, roles and responsibilities of the Body of Christ are
It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up – Ephesians 4:11-13
The different roles all have ONE common purpose and one common end result. Are we, in our different roles of apostles and prophets and evangelists and pastors / teachers bearing that in mind – that it is not to create a name for ourselves or for our ministries or for our churches, but rather to PREPARE God’s people for works of service? Are people around us being spurred on for works of service or are we quenching the gifts that God has bestowed upon us – as obviously we know better than God right?
Preparing God’s people for works of service results in the Body of Christ being built up. There will be unity in increasing measure.
What was the commission that Jesus gave each one of us, His disciples so this may happen?
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:19.
Jesus doesn’t tell us to remain where you are, but to GO and evangelise and teach…. and He doesn’t desert us, but rather gives us the promise and assurance that He is with us ALWAYS to the very end of the age.
GOING entails stepping out of our comfort zone, breaking our set patterns and rigid mind sets… It helps us to relate to people at their levels, where they are at, while making us more broadminded. When we relate to people at their levels, instead of towering over them, people are able to feel comfortable in communicating with us and being open to hear what we have to say.
Having said all this, we need to remember that the Bible clearly teaches us that edification is mutual and that ALL parts of the Body of Christ are EQUAL! No one is more important than the other – we have a common head … Jesus Christ Himself!
So what are you doing now?? GOOOOOOOO !!!! 😀