February 24, 2015

Head of the Body

Ephesians 4:1-16

Speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.

—  Ephesian 4:15

It goes without saying that the head is the most important part of the body. A body can keep living and functioning without many parts, but not without its head.

Paul uses the image of a body to describe Jesus Christ as the head of the church. Christ provides the direction and the coordination of his body. Most significant in this imagery, though, is Christ's authority over his church.

Paul's purpose here is to help us see the nature of our relationship to Jesus and what that means for our relationship with others as parts of Christ's body. The image of the head and the body vividly shows that in a way like flesh and bone, joined together by supporting ligaments, we are growing and being built up in love, under Jesus, the head of the body.

As we can see from this image of Christ as the head of the body, his church, the names and titles of Jesus are not mere abstract images but vivid descriptions of spiritual truth. And with this vivid image, Paul reminds us that we are under Christ's authority and that we belong to each other.

What will you do today to build up Jesus' body in love?

Dear Jesus, you are the head of your body, the church. Help each of us, wherever we are, scattered throughout the earth, to submit to your authority and to cherish and support all of your parts, our brothers and sisters in Christ. In your name, Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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