7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8 This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.” 9 (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, 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. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
Jesus came to earth, then ascended to heaven. As he did so he gave good gifts to his people. The gifts are PEOPLE – apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. They have a responsibility to build the rest of us up so that we can do the things God gave us to do – that is, build up the body so that we all become more Christ-like.
I think our response to this passage is many-leveled.
First of all we need to thank God for the good gifts he has given us.
Secondly, we need to make sure we support them, pray for them and listen to them – they are Jesus’ gifts to help us grow!
Thirdly, we need to do our part of the bargain – allow the encouragements of the gifts to shape us to build up the body of Christ.
Lastly, remember that we are all on a journey. We need to make sure that we are growing more Christ-like ourselves.
Lord, thank you for the order you ordained and the support you put in place to help us grow. Please continue to help us to mature in you. Amen
Written by Megan Cornell