Paul, using the comparison of the physical body to the Spiritual body of Christ, continues to emphasize over and over, the importance of each part. The parts of the Spiritual body are the gifts that the Holy Spirit has placed in each of us. Each smaller body of Christ, the individual congregations, must have the parts to function in unity. All of the gifts are given to edify the complete body. Each congregation must have those with gifts of leadership. But not everyone can be a leader, so there are other positions to fill. God has given each of us a specific gift that is necessary for the body.
10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.— 1 Peter 4:10 NIV
Each of us should study, meditate and pray so that we might know our gift and use it effectively. The gifts are not given to us for our own possession, but for the benefit of the whole body. Unless we share the gift, it is of no value to us or to our congregation. The gifts are given to each of us to share with others.
33 “No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light.— Luke 11:33 NIV
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
God sent John the Baptist as a forerunner of Jesus. The purpose and plan for John’s life was to tell the world about the Light that was coming. John understood and accepted his mission wholeheartedly. John spent his life in the wilderness living on locusts and honey, witnessing to those who came out to hear him. He was not the Light but was a witness that the Light was coming. John was so effective in his work that Jesus called him “the greatest man who ever lived”.
Yet, Jesus said “even the least person in the Kingdom of God is greater than he is”. How can this be that we could be greater than John the Baptist who lived his life for and utltimately gave his life for Jesus? The word “greater” here is used in the same sense that the word “greater” is used when Jesus said that we would do even “greater” works than Jesus did when He walked here on the earth. It is not meant to demean or lessen the value of the work that John and Jesus did, but to emphasize the greatness of the Kingdom of God itself. It is not written to give us illusions of grandeur or self-importance, but to encourage us to work for the Kingdom of God. It is not as individual Christains that we are greater or can do greater works but it is our inclusion in the Kingodm of God that is emphasized as being of utmost importance. So, the work we do for the expansion of the Kingdom of God is greater in importance than anything that we do that the world considers great or important. If we are to be “greater” then we must finish the work that John started. John was the forerunner, Jesus was the reason and we are the witnesses for this and future generations. We are here as Light and Life to a dark and dying world. So, let your Light shine and speak the words of Life to those around you wherever you are and whenever you can. There is no “greater” work to be done.
19 “Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet. 20 So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshiped?” 21 Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. 23 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. 24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”—John 4:19-24 (NLT)
We might think it strange that the woman asks this question, but in her time and situation, it was a very important question. Under the law, there were specific feasts and celebrations that could only be carried out in Jerusalem. She wanted to know how this would affect her worship. So, if we wanted to update this question to now, we might ask Jesus, “How is this going to affect my lifestyle?” Jesus answers her question by introducing a whole new concept. The time is coming and it is actually here now that you will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. After Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension, He sent us the Holy Spirit, Now that we have the Holy Spirit abiding in us, we can worship God anywhere and anytime. This is true for individual worship. The answer for corporate worship is a little more complicated. 24 Let us think about each other and help each other to show love and do good deeds.25 You should not stay away from the church meetings, as some are doing, but you should meet together and encourage each other. Do this even more as you see the day coming.—Hebrews 10:24,25 (NCV)