In the last article we considered the fact that much of Jesus and the early church’s activity centered around homes (see Out of the Pew and into the Homes Pt 1 and Luke 10). It wasn’t because there were no religious buildings to use. Jesus and Paul both used synagogues and Paul even used a public building called the “School of Tyrannus” in Acts 19:8-9.
An important reason Jesus instructed them to go into receptive homes had to do with the nature of God and what He is building, a family. Getting into homes and household (households were the relational networks associated with homes) is a key to expanding the family of God (mission).
Not to be Disconnected from His Presence/Power
When many think of a relational context associated with homes, they limit it to simply hanging out with others, enjoying their company, and experiencing a family feel. In Luke 10 however, the family/relational gatherings were also to have the presence and power of God at work “heal those in it who are sick, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.”
We cannot have a disconnect between the relational activity and the power and presence of God coming among us. It isn’t a matter of having a “relational time” or a “Spiritual time.” The Kingdom is never to be dualistic like that. The whole idea is that we connect with the family in heaven as we connect with, or seek to extend the family on earth.
One of the main purposes of our being built together is to be a dwelling place of the Spirit. Connecting with God to see His power/presence at work should be a natural part of connecting with others. This should happen in connecting with fellow believers as well as those outside of God’s family.
Jesus tells the seventy to cast out demons and proclaim, “the kingdom of God has come near you.” Some of the most amazing Spiritual encounters I have had in my life were with small groups of people gathered in homes in which the power and presence of God showed up though prayer, laying on of hands, and prophetic words.
The seventy did this as they entered into receptive homes. In verse 17 they returned rejoicing that “even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” God’s throne is never to be disconnect from His footstool” Acts 7:49. When we gather with people (both fellow believers as well as unbelievers) we need to always seek to connect with His presence and power.
Continued Relational/Family Context
The family/relational thrust of the Kingdom continues in Luke 10 as a lawyer stands up to challenge Jesus by asking Him a question about how to inherit eternal life. Jesus told him it was about loving God and loving your neighbor as yourself (a very family/relational idea). The lawyer obviously couldn’t argue with His revelation but tried to sidestep it, and justify himself by asking, “And who is my neighbor?”
Jesus responded with the story of the good Samaritan vs 30-38. It was an amazing story of a man traveling on a roadway who was beaten, robbed, and in desperate need of care. Two religious people, a Priest and a Levite, deliberately ignored him as they passed by. Then a Samaritan (normally not associated with God’s people) connected with and cared for the man in need. Jesus indicated that the Samaritan fulfilled the idea of eternal life as he walked in his normal everyday experience. He also showed them, and us, that even if you live in a religious context, it is no guarantee you will express the heart and life of God. The whole point of the story is that we need to relationally extend care to those in need who we connect with on the roadway of everyday life.
Another Household Setting
Luke 10 continues to another setting that emphasizes the relational context of home and family in missional work with the story of Mary and Martha Vs 38-42. Jesus went into the receptive home (in the same way He sent the seventy into homes) of Mary and Martha. Martha was busy doing good things serving her guest without really connecting with Him. Mary on the other hand sat at the “Lord’s feet listening to His word.” Jesus commended Mary in responding to Martha saying that what she was doing was the most important thing, connecting with Jesus.
This is another important relational emphasis of the Kingdom extending (mission) in homes. We must remember that as we enter into people’s households to connect with them, our ultimate aim is connecting them with the presence of Jesus. We are always looking for ways to do that. We release God’s word through conversations (“say to them the Kingdom of God has come near to you” vs 9), as well as prayer. Even if they don’t know Him, we can offer to pray. As we do God’s presence comes near and they connect. Who knows what may happen next?
Homes and households are to be strategic bases of Kingdom/Missional work. Let’s look for ways to get people into our homes/households, or go into their homes to see the work of God’s Kingdom expand. Our ultimate aim is demonstrate, and do everything we can to lead them to become part of God’s household. Eph 2:19-22 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household…In whom we are being built together into a dwelling place of God.
Here is a great clip from a message about the church being a family connected to Luke 10.
Enter the text or HTML code here