Whenever I talk about mutuality, I tend to focus on a few passages, such as Ephesians 4:7-16 or 1 Corinthians 14:26-40. However, mutuality (the one-another’ing aspect of our lives together in Christ) is actually very pervasive (widespread) in Scripture.
One of those mutuality passages is Hebrews 12:12-17. This passage follows the very famous passage at the beginning of Hebrews 12 in which the author exhorts his readers to set aside distractions and sin and to “look to Jesus.” Next, the readers are encouraged to trust God and his love for them in spite of any “discipline” they may be facing.
After that section on discipling (“For the Lord disciplines the one he loves”), the author writes:
Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears. (Hebrews 12:12-17 ESV)
From first glimpse, it appears that the author is exhorting each reader to lift up his own drooping hands or strengthen her own weak knees. It seems that each reader is instructed to make straight paths for each one’s own feet. However, as we keep reading, we realize that these commands are much more mutual than that, especially when we get to verse 15.
Although verse 15 in the translation above begins with a command, it is actually in the form of a participle: See[ing] to it that no on fails to obtain the grace of God. And, to make this an even stronger statement, the verb translated “See to it” is the same verb that is normally translated “oversee.” (It’s actually the same form of the verb found in 1 Peter 5:2 when Peter is addressing “elders.”)
Thus, the author is exhorting his readers to “oversee” each other to ensure that no one fails to live in the grace of God, that no “root of bitterness” grows in anyone’s heart, and that no one falls into sexual immorality. As you can tell, these are issues of spiritual oversight, and we are all responsible for “overseeing” each other.
From this passage especially, we can see that the meaning of the verb “oversee” is very close to the meaning of the verb “consider” in this passage (which is another of my favorite when it comes to mutuality):
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works… (Hebrews 10:24 ESV)
Yes, it is all of our responsibilities to look into one another’s lives, to help each other follow Jesus Christ, and to help one another grow in maturity together. This is what mutuality among the church is all about.