Summary: The need to interact in one another’s lives
“Open Hearts, Open Homes”
Luke 8:21, 9:5
Intro: Do you have a close friend, a brother or sister in Christ that you can turn to?
Many of us don’t. Sometimes our friends are like the “body neighborhood.”
Have you ever heard about the “body” neighborhood?
Fred Somebody, Thomas Everybody, Susan Anybody, and Joe Nobody were neighbors, but they were not like you and me. They were odd people and most difficult to understand. The way they lived was a shame.
All four belonged to the same church, but you would not have enjoyed worshiping with them. EVERYBODY went fishing on Sunday or stayed home to visit with friends. ANYBODY wanted to worship but was afraid SOMEBODY wouldn’t speak to him. So guess who went to church - NOBODY. Really, NOBODY was the only decent one of the four. NOBODY did the visitation. NOBODY worked on the church building. Once they needed a Sunday school teacher. EVERYBODY thought ANYBODY would do it, and ANYBODY thought SOMEBODY would do it. And you know who did it? That’s exactly right . . . NOBODY!
It happened that a fifth neighbor (an unbeliever) moved into the area. EVERYBODY thought SOMEBODY should try to win him for Christ. ANYBODY could have made an effort. You probably know who won him: NOBODY!
This little parable brings to focus again the fact that each of us is personally responsible for God’s work. If we leave it for somebody or everybody or anybody, nobody will do it. Let’s work till Jesus comes!
This morning, we want to look at how we function in relation to one another. Hopefully we function better than the “body” neighbors. Yet do we relate on a deep level? How do we relate to one another?
Let’s look in Luke 8:19-21 as a starting place for our message today:
Now Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him, but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd. Someone told him, "Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you." He replied, "My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice."
I. The Basis of Being United in Christ
It mentions here that we have the unique ability to become personally tied to Christ in a family way: we can become brothers and sisters in Christ. We use that term quite loosely; sometimes it even turns us off when it is used the wrong way.
#Did you ever know someone who loved to call everyone “brother”?
Sometimes you hear that word and you think “what does he want?”
Realtor - know you are a Christian - suddenly they are too!
But just what is involved in this relationship?
A. Our unity is not based on physical relationship. In verse 20 we see those of his physical family were present, but Jesus stresses the spiritual relationship, not just the physical relationship. In fact, we know that in following Christ often we will have to leave behind members of our physical family.
Luke 14:26 - "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters--yes, even his own life--he cannot be my disciple.
Luke 11:27-28 - A woman in the crowd called out, "Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you." He replied, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it."
B. Our unity is not based on being part of the same church. There are some brothers and sisters in Christ in every church. But every church also has impostors. There are those who come to church who have a different father.
To churchgoers of his day, Jesus had these words.
-John 8:44 - You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
C. Our unity is not based just on who our friends are. We all have sets of friends, but sometimes those friends can lead us astray.
*Prov. 18:24 - A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Luke 23:12 - That day Herod and Pilate became friends--before this they had been enemies.
D. Our unity is based on our oneness in Christ Jesus. This morning I would like us to remember that we are one in Christ.
*Rom. 12:5 - In Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
*Eph. 2:13,19 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow-citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household.