Inside Looking Around

We shouldn’t be like a bag of marbles, always separate and untouched by our brethren. We should be like a bag of grapes, being bruised and squished together and not afraid to let our messes be seen.

The above is a bad paraphrase of a quote I read many years ago. It refers to the Body of Christ, the church.

What has been your experience: marbles or grapes? I’ve experienced both, and I bet you have, too. Which do you think seems to follow the commands of Christ more fully?


The Hebrews were commanded by God to set Aaron and his sons up as priests when they were still in the wilderness after escaping from Egypt. The priesthood was handed from father to son, and there was always a high priest with several lower level priests serving under him. They were the only ones allowed by God to minister to His people and to Him. The regular folks weren’t permitted to even touch the holy things in the tabernacle, on pain of death.

And don’t forget the two older sons of Aaron, who took unauthorized fire with incense into the tabernacle to offer to God. Unfortunately, they were presumptuous, acting without God’s command and against His established pattern. They died a fiery death at His hands (Lev. 10:1-2). They weren’t the first priests to be severely punished for acting out of turn.

When Jesus came to earth, He demolished the concept of a priestly hierarchy. All believers are now called priests in the order of Melchizedek, under our High Priest, Jesus. The old order of Aaron is gone.

We have freedom to perform our priestly duties without fear of being struck dead. Do we act like the priests we are?  Jesus wants us to minister to one another according to His commands.grapes, white and black

  • The Body is supposed to bear one another’s burdens and thereby to fulfill the law of Christ (Gal. 6:2).


  •  We are to honor our brethren above ourselves (Rom 12:10).


  • ·We are to confess our faults to one another so that we may be healed (James 5:16).

Jesus Himself said that we would do what He did, and more. How can we unless we depend on one another? And how can we depend on one another without honesty and transparency? Listening, following, obeying, loving, forgiving – these are the things that make us struggle. This priestly calling isn’t all that easy, but we have Holy Spirit to help us. And we have each other.

The church should be like a bag of grapes: that old quote still holds true. Perhaps now more than ever. Interdependence is the key. We depend on the Triune God and on others in the Body to help us become fully what God has called us to be.

Marbles are too independent. They limit themselves in what they can do. And they tend to be quite lonely. i regret to say I’ve spent way too much time as a marble. Maybe you have, too.

What will we be? Marbles or grapes?

Part 3 of a 3 part series

Part 1|Inside Looking Out

Part 2| Outside Looking In

all illustrations courtesy of