People all around the World are made of different tribes. Tribes are simply a way in which people view life. Most tribes are territorial or are part of a particular ethnic group or simply see life in a certain way. What they may have in common is certain values or customs. Within the United States tribes can fall under many categories. Our political party, our stance on certain issues, the communities we live in, the schools we attend and the church we belong to can all be under the heading of a tribe. Most conflicts in the World can be attributed to ones tribal values clashing with the values of another tribe.
In the 37th chapter of Ezekiel, God tells Ezekiel to take two sticks of wood and on one stick write “Belonging to Judah,” and on the other stick write “Belonging to Joseph.” Ezekiel takes the two sticks and brings them together as one. The point is that God will one day not simply bring the Jewish tribes back together again, but he will raise up one tribe under the leadership of the messiah King. This King will rule his people with justice and peace. The people in this tribe would finally inherit the land promised to them back in the days of Abraham. As the Bible unfolds we learn the promise of land was not simply a little piece of land in the Mediterranean, but God intended to renew and restore the whole Earth as his possession. The Apostle Paul assumed this prophecy came true in the work of Jesus on the cross. In Galatians 3:26-29 Paul writes, “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Did you catch that? Jesus came to have one tribe and family and this family was going to inherit the promise that were given to Abraham.
So, what does this mean for the church? First, commitment to the Jesus tribe is essential. The typical view of a church is that it is the place where we come to get some good moral teaching, or it is a sin management station, and sometimes we view church as the holding station until we get to Heaven. There may be some truth to these statements, but the primary purpose of the Jesus tribe is we are to be committed to one another and to Jesus in relationship. We are a family. Tribes look out for one another. We don’t just attend church one day a week, but we share life together throughout the week. Secondly, allegiance to the Jesus tribe must be louder than other tribes. Our goal is not to promote the tribes of this World. We are to promote Jesus. Our goal is to invite people not to a political party, not to a certain stand on certain issues but to invite them to be a part of the Jesus family. Will we have differences? Of course, we will, but our differences should not be louder than what we have in Jesus.
We live in a culture in which people are defending their tribes. I personally am tired of defending tribes that I am a part of except the tribe of Jesus. I want to lift high his name. I want to let the World know that being a part of the Jesus tribe brings hope to the World. I am reminded that the tribes of this World will eventually fade, but the tribe lead by King Jesus will live forever in a restored and renewed World. This is good news