HONORING THE BODY
BY: TROY NICHOLS
Mark 6:1-6 And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him. And when the Sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honor, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.
· Among the ancient Jews, every father was bound to do four things for their son. 1) Circumcise him, 2) redeem him, 3) teach him the law, 4) teach him a trade.
· Note in verse 3, “Is not this the carpenter?” Keep in mind that they were amazed at his teaching, his wisdom as well as the mighty works that were wrought by his hands. However, their spiritual eyes were closed in that they only saw Jesus after the flesh and therefore were comparing him with themselves. Thus they were amazed that Jesus the carpenter (being a man as they were) could have such things while they didn’t.
· Another translation of verse 2 reads, “The next Sabbath he went to the synagogue to teach, and the people were astonished at his wisdom and his miracles because he was just a local man like themselves.“ He’s no better than we are,” they said. “He’s just a carpenter, Mary’s boy, and a brother of James and Joseph, Judas and Simon. And his sisters live right here among us.” And they were offended!”
· I am reminded here of Matt 11:6 which reads, “And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.” The truth here being that many might be tempted to reject Christ because of; his disposition (frame of mind), his disciplinary actions or his straightforwardness and as a result walk away from the very vessel that the Father sent to bless them.
2 Cor 5:16 says, “Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.” Another translation reads, “So stop evaluating Christians by what the world thinks about them or by what they seem to be like on the outside. Once I mistakenly thought of Christ that way, merely as a human being like myself. How differently I feel now!”
· After you were saved, did anyone ever tell you that you sure had changed? Did they begin to treat you different or act different around you when you came into the room? The reason being they had to get to know you after the spirit now (not the flesh).
· Note in verse 4 that Jesus said that a prophet is not without honor, but in his own country (community), and among his own kin (family), and in his own house (spouse and kids). While there are exceptions, at large you will find this to be true.
This is one reason we lack the power of God in our lives as well as our local assemblies. Simply being, everyone knows each other after the flesh and therefore shuts them out whenever they make an attempt to minister.
· Jesus would say it like this, “All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.” Simply being, “Respect the position or office and you will be blessed!”
· The reason that the power of God is so great in Benny Hinns’ meeting is not so much because of him as much as it is due to thousands of people coming together that don’t know each other and thereby truly worshipping God in truth and in spirit.
· Note in verse 5 that he could THERE do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. Where is there? There is the place where he was dishonored. The place where he wasn’t respected or appreciated as the gift of God.
· We are not to conclude that the power of God was limited because they dishonored Christ; but that they were so set against him, they were in no frame of mind to be persuaded that he was sent from God. Simply being, they would just have credited what he did to the devil as can be seen in John 10:20. And as a result, he chose to only to do a few small things that could not easily be credited to the devil.
Matt 10:24 says, “The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.” If they dishonored the Lord, they will dishonor those he sends (Jn 20:21). When you dishonor those he sends, they will do as their leader before them. Simply being, they will choose to do little works in your midst. I am persuaded this is why so many small churches stay small is that they get to know one another after the flesh and their pastor gets caught up in the mess and then all honor goes out the door leaving only a few works to be manifest every now and again.
· If the enemy can dishonor your leader, he can hinder the flow of the anointing and life of God to you individually and corporately. This is why he sets out to make you envious and jealous of those that the Lord has placed over you.
· Note in verse 6 that Jesus marveled at their unbelief. I am persuaded that their unbelief stemmed from dishonor and that dishonor produced the unbelief.
Fact: If there is no honor given to the leaders in the Body of Christ, they will be very limited in what they do when they come into your midst.
I Tim 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
Gal 6:6 says, “Let him that is taught in the word communicate (share with) unto him that teacheth in all good things.”
· There is a dishonoring of the ministry in our culture that is greatly quenching the power of God. And until the leaders of God are rendered double honor, it will continue to be so.
· I realize as I teach this that there will be some will think that I am talking about worshipping man. However, for those that think such, I will explain you the danger of such thinking. There are those that came to my meetings when I was on the road that was accused of running after man because they came wherever I was at. It was at that point that their hunger for God was discredited in their eyes for seeking after a man (because of the gift of God in my life that blessed them and drew them closer to God).
· I would dare to say that if I had a meeting and no one showed up, the dishonor would flow through the grapevine that I didn’t have anything or people would come out and hear me. While on the other hand, if I packed the building out, there would be those that would accuse the people of seeking after a man. As a result of the above, in our culture we are afraid to honor men and women in fear of being called a cult.
· For the sake of balance, let me state that my motive in teaching you this is not to get you to honor your leader (independent of God) as the Pharisee’s of old so desired. For John 5:44 shows us not to seek after the honor that comes from man but the honour that comes from God. My motive is to get you to honor the gift within those that God sends; for it is when you honor the gift that you will see the anointing as well as the gifts of the spirit begin to flow out to you individually and corporately.
Matt 23:37-39 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed IS HE that cometh in the name of the Lord.
· Note the compassion of Jesus and his desire to gather the people of God together but they would not have it so under his leadership. The result of such rejection and dishonor was DESOLATION (barren, lifeless, unfit for habitation)!
· Note that Jesus said in verse 39, “Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” Note the time word TILL. This lets us see that we can see the Lord anytime we want WHEN we say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
2 Corinthians 13:5 makes it plain that Jesus Christ is in us being born-again believers. Gal 1:15-16 says, “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood.”
· When Paul came in the name of the Lord and was honored, those around him saw the Lord come forth out from him. Even so, when your Pastor or leader comes in your midst and you honor the gift and office, the Father will reveal the Son to you individually and corporately.
· I will go one step further and apply this truth to each member of the Body of Christ. Simply being, when you begin to honor each member of the body that comes in the name of the Lord, you will then begin to see the Lord in those individual members.
· The amount of spiritual blessings you receive from your Pastor or leader will be determined by the degree you honour and respect them. Simply being, it is the Lord that looks and sees how you treat not only your leaders but also each other in the body. If we could only grasp this revelation, we would see a mighty outpouring of the Lord in our local assemblies.
· When your Pastor or leader comes in the room, how do you respond to them? What thoughts are going through your mind? Do you just see the man or the gift of God? Do you just see the carpenter or a Son of God? Do you murmur and complain against your pastor of leader behind their back? All these questions when answered will explain to you why you do or do not see the Lord in your pastor as well as other leaders.
Acts 9:1-5 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
· Note in verse 3 that the light shined round about Saul. It literally means that the light enveloped him, which is rendered to enclose completely as with a covering. Simply being, Saul was surrounded. After being surrounded, he FELL to the earth (off his high horse) and heard a voice (heard the Lord).
· Note the order here. One, you are surrounded by the light (word). Two, you fall to the earth (humble yourself). Three, you hear a voice calling your name (you are in the right position to hear from the Lord).
· Note that the Lord asked Saul, “Why persecutest thou me?” Saul had no idea that when he touched the Christians, he touched the body and when he touched the body; he touched the head, which is Christ and he took it personally. Selah
Matt 25:34-40 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
1 Cor 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
· How you treat the one you see is how you are treating the one in them that you can’t see. Consider the following illustrations in closing:
A great man shows his greatness by the way he treats little men.
Serve a great man and you will know what sorrow is.
You must live with people to know their problems and live with God in order to solve them.
In order to be of service to others we have to die to them; that is, we have to give up measuring our meaning and value with the yardstick of others. To die to our neighbors means to stop judging them, to stop evaluating them, and thus to become free to be compassionate. Compassion can never coexist with judgment because judgment creates the distance, the distinction, which prevents us from really being with the other.
If I love Jesus Christ, I will serve humanity, though men and women treat me like a doormat.
Revelation: You can honor man and not honor the gift of God, but you can’t honor the gift of God without honouring the man of God.
HONORING THE BODY [Troy Nichols] 1