“If the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body.” (1 Corinthians 12:15.)
The resurrected body of Jesus ascended into the sky and disappeared into a cloud. His risen body is now in Heaven. However, the Bible also declares that all true Christ followers, world-wide and across time, are a part of His body (because He actually lives in us), whether we are actual members of a particular religious institution or not.
So how is the body of Christ (the children of God) on earth supposed to meet together? We’re supposed to be Spirit-led (Romans 8:14) — to be led by Jesus as our literal Head — not controlled by the headship of a human hierarchy or a religious organization.
So how should the body of Christ function under Jesus’ Headship? Let’s think about your hand.
Please follow along with me. Make a thumbs up sign. Now keeping your thumb up, open up your fingers. Then wiggle your thumb and observe.
That’s the way a typical church is set up. The pastor (your thumb) wiggles about on a stage and gives a talk while the congregation (your fingers) sits passively and comfortably still unless the pastor or program tells them to do something.
Now stop moving your thumb and point your fingers to the sky keeping your hand open and your thumb up. This time take turns randomly wiggling different fingers and your thumb one at a time. According to 1 Corinthians 14:26, that’s the way the body of Christ should meet together. Anyone present can speak as prompted by the Head of the body — the risen Jesus.
What did you just do? You illustrated the difference between the headship of a pastor (your thumb) and the Headship of Jesus. In the first example the pastor controlled everything as your mind directed him to wiggle. In the second example your mind directly directed each finger and the thumb when to wiggle. The pastor (your thumb) wasn’t the head, but your mind was the head.
That’s how Jesus wants to be the literal Head of His body. He doesn’t need a pastor or a human hierarchy to head things up. He Himself wants to be the Head and to directly direct each person present when to speak and when to listen without first having to run things through a pastor.
If you won’t allow Jesus to directly run a gathering of His body in that way, then you’re missing out on amazing demonstrations of His Headship and reality as He prompts ordinary people to speak as led by the Spirit. Perhaps it’s time to hand control of church meetings over to the risen Jesus and let Him be the living Head of His body!
By humbly and continually submitting to and obeying God while resisting and rejecting the devil’s temptations to self-focus on our own desires we put ourselves in the position where Jesus can lift us up to daily live and flow in the power of the Spirit. Be Spirit-led!