8 Important Things Jesus’ Earthly Life Teaches Us about Community

Contributing Writer
8 Important Things Jesus’ Earthly Life Teaches Us about Community

Jesus spent His whole time here on Earth living in community. He was born into the society of Jews that included His family and others in the region. And later during His ministry He created another, more select group made up of people who loved God and wanted to learn more about Him. And in each of His communities, Jesus set the standard for living righteously with, and for, one another.

Throughout the New Testament Gospels (the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) we see Jesus spending His days in fellowship with His Apostles, celebrating, mourning, and worshiping right alongside them. He continued in and even built on what God had already instructed the Jewish nation.

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock” (Matthew 7:24).

What Jesus modeled for His Apostles became a central part of their message to the young church: that the way Christians live in community can glorify God and inspire the world. And that truth is still vitally important today.

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What Does Jesus Show Us about Community?

A multi-ethnic group of friends

The Lord always taught by word and by example. So looking at events in Jesus’ life on Earth will help us discover some of the deeper meanings and benefits of living in community.

1. We Please God

Finding community has always been part of God’s plan for His people. And Jesus had this in mind when He chose 12 men to be Apostles. Although they were all from different backgrounds, these men forged deep bonds based on faith in Christ. Their small family brought great joy to God.

“You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:14-15).

We delight God when we find connection with other believers.

2. We Help Each Other Grow Spiritually

God wants His children to keep growing in their faith. And Jesus spoke boldly to those in the communities He was connected to, correcting faulty thinking and misunderstanding of Scripture.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:3).

“Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns’” (Matthew 16:23).

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces” (Matthew 23:13).

We can ask God to help us lovingly help others to see His truth.

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3. We Have Opportunities to Meet Practical Needs

A group of people volunteering to help build a house

God provides for believers, even in the most basic of ways. Jesus’ miracles and healing of those in the community showed His concern about all aspects of life. He turned water into wine at a wedding, multiplied bread and fish to feed 5,000 people, and healed people so that they could work again.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me’” (Matthew 25:34-36).

We can look for and meet needs right around us, which might also open a door to share the Gospel.

4. We Learn to Show One Another Agape Love

God’s love is perfect. And while Jesus was on Earth, He found ways to model this to those in His community. He washed the disciples’ feet, forgave sins, and ultimately sacrificed Himself for the benefit of others.

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).

We need to pray for God to make us ready and willing to give of ourselves.

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5. We Are Able to Exalt God Together

Many hands raised together in worship

God commands His people to come together to give Him praise. Jesus’ followers saw Him rejoice over moments like Zacheus repenting. And through parables, He reminded the community of believers that they were to give honor and glory to the Father every day.

“Yet the time is coming, and is now here, when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. Indeed, the Father is looking for people like that to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:23-24).

We need to proclaim God’s greatness regularly so that others are encouraged and inspired.

6. We Can Share Our Burdens

God wants His children to walk through life together. Jesus spent three years with His disciples, letting them hear Him share His burdens with His Father. He expressed frustrations, and even fear, which taught them the power of being in community when facing hardships.

“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:12-13).

We can be more honest with each other about our struggles, giving and receiving comfort.

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7. We Find More Purpose and Passion in Our Daily Life

A group of happy, excited friends on the beach

God sees every moment as an opportunity to impact a community for His Kingdom. Jesus filled His days with ministry, reaching out to heal people and guiding them to greater knowledge and faith. Through this, His followers saw the richness of a life fully devoted to God.

“Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If anyone wants to follow me, he must deny himself, pick up his cross, and follow me continuously. Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it…” (Matthew 16:24-25).

We can choose to join God in His work every day, using our time and talents to bless and be blessed.

8. We Have Chances to Let Each Other See God More Clearly

God is the One true source of strength, grace and power. And Jesus’ speech and acts were always motivated by love with the aim of directing people to His Father. As a result, many people in the community understood and worshiped God more deeply.

“In the same way, let your light shine before people in such a way that they will see your good actions and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

We can do our best to represent God clearly and graciously, letting the Spirit guide us to help others see more of Him.

Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) contains many lessons and cautions about living well in community. He concludes the passage with a simple but challenging direction for us:

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12).


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Heather Adams 1200x1200Heather Adams is an author, speaker, and singer living in Connecticut. Heather’s passion is to equip and encourage believers to seek more of God’s truth and to experience more of His joy each day. Her book, Bow Down: The Heart of a True Worshipper is a practical, 30-day devotional about worship based on the writings of King David. Heather's blog, Worship Walk Ministries, offers weekly Scripture passages and insights to ponder. A native New Englander, Heather is settling into her home in the South, trying out local foods and watching for the alligators that live nearby!