A Hundred Mothers, Brothers...Intimate Relationships
What he said is very profound and true. Normally, a typical Christian in response to that would say, “Well, of course. Yes, we should love one another, and care about each other on other days of the week too—of course. We do already do that and so we just need to do it a little more.” In virtually every country, any Christian would say they “already do that,” and that they “just need to do that a little more—of course, every one does.” But what we are talking about actually goes way past what you are probably thinking. It will cost you your very life. It will cost you your reputation. It will cost you your sleep. It is the Pearl of great price, to love one another as Jesus first loved us.
As a practical example, let’s say you are a parent with a child in your home who is a young man. You are his parent and he has always worn his hair normally. But then one day, he decides to make his hair fancy and strange, in a way that’s popular in the world. If you are a bad parent, you say, “Stop that! Don’t wear your hair like that.” Or a bad parent might ignore it and pretend it’s not an issue. A good parent on the other hand, would say, “Why did you do that?” Perhaps his hair does need to change, but the real issue he needs to be asked is, “why?” If that child wants to be seen of men and draw attention to himself, and wants to, as Paul said, “conform to the patterns of the world”—wants to look like the world, think like the world, act like the world, love the world—then we have to help him. As a good parent, we have to convince him to change his heart and his mind and his priority to not see things the way the flesh and the world wants him to see them. We should help him decide that his satisfaction and affection is in Jesus, and his desire is in His righteousness and His Kingdom, and he doesn’t want to draw attention to himself. We help him see that his goal is not to be popular, or to win the world to love him and be impressed and have people look at him. He really just wants Jesus to be exalted. His goal is that he would decrease, so that Jesus would increase. A person who tries to draw attention to himself is a person who wants to increase, which makes Jesus decrease. That’s the kind of example where we would want to help our children see their hearts and see Jesus. And that’s just what we want to bring to our brothers and sisters too.
So, true “house church” is bringing the home into our church life, not bringing our church into the homes. It’s very superficial to just bring our big building into little buildings, but never change anything in the heart. What does that accomplish? Nothing, really. We’ve seen it all over the world. Here in this part of Asia “house church” is a new idea, but in some countries it’s been around for ten years, and everyone stays the same. When people bring the big church into little houses, the hearts and lives of the people don’t change. It’s just a gimmick, a program. We can instead do what that brother described so well. And that is, that here, as well as in other cities or countries, we bring the life of our home into the church. Jesus prophesied that the church would be a hundred mothers, brothers, sisters, lands, possessions, with persecution, and in the life to come, eternal life (Mark 10:30). If you forsake your life and give away who you are for the sake of the Lamb of God and His people, then you will have a hundred intimate relationships. A mother with a daughter is an intimate relationship, right? It’s not just a passing relationship. A mother with a child is an intimate relationship, and Jesus said, that is supposed to be your experience in the church, with a hundred mothers, a hundred brothers, and a hundred sisters. It’s not relationships that are in passing, “Hi, I love you, praise God.” Rather, it’s the same kind of intimacy that a mother has with her child or a father with his child, or a grandparent with a grandchild. It’s that sort of love and affection, intimacy and practicality. It is very practical, but this is not done in churches worldwide very often—yet. But it must come to be, because it is Jesus’ Will that we grow to be a hundred mothers, brothers, sisters—not a hundred people who attend each other’s lives or attend a meeting or “service” or listen to a speech or sermon. It is people who have intimacy of relationship.