OceanSide church of Christ
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JESUS ENTERED HOMES...AND MADE A DIFFERENCE
Victor M. Eskew
The home is a divine institution (Gen. 2:18-24). It is, however, much more than an institution. It is a unit composed of human beings who possess a soul and who are made in the image of God. These individuals often struggle with various problems. These struggles can involve finances, health, relationships, addictions, worldliness, and a lack of spirituality. Sometimes those in the home can deal with their own problems. At other times, they are in need of assistance from others.
Jesus knew that homes were made up of people. He also knew that people often have problems. The presence of Jesus within these homes often made a tremendous difference in the lives of the family members. In Matthew 8, Jesus entered into the home of one of His apostles. When he left the home, a difference had been made. “And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever. And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them” (v. 14-15).
Another example of Jesus’ presence making a difference in a home is found in Luke 10:38-42. This time the home was that of one of Jesus’ close friends. “Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which a so sat at Jesus’ feet, and hear his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? Bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: but one things is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken from her.” The difference Jesus made in this home is perhaps not as dramatic as what happened in Peter’s home, but a difference was made none the less.
A third home into which Jesus went and made a difference was the home of a publican. This little man had actively sought for Jesus. His first glimpse of the Son of man was from a sycamore tree. “And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down for to day I must abide at thy house. And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be the guest with a man that is a sinner. And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my good I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (v. 5-10).
Most congregations of the Lord’s people have what are called “visitation teams.” At East Wood, we refer to our visitation program as “Faith-in-Action” (FIA). The purpose of these teams is to enter into the homes of those who are struggling, suffering, hurting, and who might be dealing with sin and iniquity and seek to provide some sort of assistance. In essence, we enter into these homes in an attempt to make a difference. We are trying to follow in the footsteps of our precious Savior.
We realize that we cannot do the miraculous works of the Son of God, but we can still have an influence in the homes we visit. Those who are sick and shut-in are often cut off from their brothers and sister in Christ. They are not able to attend the worship services. It brings joy to their hearts when one of more of their brethren enters through their door to see them. Fellowship seems to be restored. There are other brethren who have fallen into what might be called “spiritual depression.” Words of exhortation and encouragement from those who are spiritual can often restore these individuals to faithfulness. There are others who have had difficult situations to come upon them. Physical assistance or financial assistance are desperately needed. When brethren come into their homes with much needed relief these brethren experience the relief of a burden and also the love of brethren for them.
The thought of a person’s being able to enter into the home of another and make a real difference is thrilling. It should cause every member of the body of Christ to get involved with a visitation program. Truly, this is one of the important aspects of our being in the body of Christ. “That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or whether one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular” (I Cor. 12:25-27).