If you enjoy looking around craft stores, one of the things you may have discovered is chain mail jewelry. This is a type of jewelry that is made from small circles of metal joined together to make a beautiful pattern. I've never tried it, but it seems like it would be very time consuming but worth it in the end because of the unique creation you will have. It is important to pick the right type of metal so that it doesn't fall apart or become discolored after all that hard work that went into making the piece. It is also important to have the right tools so that way the job can be done efficiently and with ease. In a sense the jeweler is making a chain of loops that are connected to one another. This picture is an illustration of chain mail, which was a form of protection for a soldier. Just as this chain mail has been joined together, Jesus came to unite us all as one as God's children and one body and He began to spread that message early in His ministry. Please read Matthew 4:12-17.
These are some interesting verses that show Jesus on the beginning of His journey. After John the Baptist was arrested, Jesus moved on and spoke the message of repentance to all people. We see how this fulfilled more prophecy about the Messiah and how He would be shining the light of truth to even the Gentiles (non-Jews). But His message was simple. Repent of your sins and turn to God. We still hear that message today - the message that says that we no longer have to be slaves to our sin and can turn our lives toward God. But there was another interesting part of His message: the Kingdom of Heaven is near. Some versions translate it to mean the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. I looked it up on BlueLetterBible.com and found that it is a verb that means to draw near or to join one thing to another (see footnote 1.)
I found it interesting that it could also mean to join one thing to another. It seems that Jesus wasn't just telling them that the Kingdom was near, but He was telling them that He was here to join us all together as one body. We learn more in Ephesians what this unity means to us even today. Ephesians 2:14 (NLT) says, "For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, He broke down the wall of hostility that separated us." Ephesians 2:19 (NLT) says, "So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family." And Ephesians 2:21 (NLT) says, "We are carefully joined together in Him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord." Isn't that beautiful! We are joined together as one through Christ - this is God's Kingdom. Jesus came to join together the Kingdom of God as one body of believers and as His temple.
What do you think that means for us as believers? How does that mean we should be with one another?
1. Blue Letter Bible. "Dictionary and Word Search for eggizō (Strong's 1448)". Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2012. 11 Oct 2012. < http:// www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G1448&t=NLT >
This post is linked with Thought Provoking Thursday.