1 Corinthians 12:21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
Part of my Bible reading today was from 1 Corinthians 12. The whole chapter talks about how we are all given different abilities by the Holy Spirit, yet all of us are part of the same body. When we get saved, we are all baptised by one Spirit into one body (12:13). The unity we share is found in the fact that we all have the same Spirit, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ. He brings us together. He unifies us. He gives each member of the body different gifts so that the whole body is edified. We notice several things from this passage:
- The body is not one member, but many (12:14, 20). We are not an island. We do not function as an island. Everything we do in the body of Christ, the church, is always going to involve others.
- Every member is part of the body (12:15-16). The foot cannot say it is not part of the body because it is not the hand. The ear cannot say it is not part of the body because it is not the eye. Every member is part of the whole. No member exists on it’s own without interdependence on the other members.
- A body made up of only one member is not a body (12:17, 19). If the whole body were an eye, there would be no hearing. If the whole body were an ear, there would be the smelling. In the same way, a church with only one person or just the pastor is not a church. The very nature of a church is it’s assembling of many members.
- God is the one who decides what member of the body we are (12:18). “God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.” Instead of complaining about who we are or being jealous of another member, we should just accept how God has made us and get on doing what He has given us to do.
- Every member of the body needs the other members of the body (12:21). The eye cannot say that it does not the hand. The head cannot say it does not need the foot. Each member needs the others. Whether we admit it or not, we need one another. That is why we should not forsake the assembling of ourselves together.
- The more feeble parts of the body should get more honour (12:22-23). Sometimes that parts of the body that seem to be more feeble are actually more necessary. The hearts, lungs, and stomach for example may not be as strong as the arm or the leg. You can lose a limb and still live; however, you cannot do without your heart and many of your internal organs. Don’t look down the members of the church that seems to be more feeble; maybe their prayers are the reason God is blessing your church!
- The stronger parts have no need of honour (12:24). By reason of their strength, the stronger members and those who are more noticed don’t need honour. They are strong and should bear the infirmities of the weak. A mark of spiritual maturity is the ability to keep serving God without being recognised, honoured, or thanked. Otherwise, if you have to be thanked and honoured to keep going, you are actually a weaker member not a stronger member!
- God is the one who decides how we are put together (12:24). He tempers the body together, which means He combines or mixes us together in the way He wants. There is a reason God has placed you in the church you are in with the people you are with. That other member may get on your nerves, but maybe God has put them in your life for a reason. Maybe God wants to use them to teach you a lesson. Maybe that other member needs you to love them and help them. Don’t get upset with the members who are in your church, because God is the one who put them there.
- The members should care for one another not fight with one another (12:25). God doesn’t want there to be any schism (split, gap, division, rent) in His body. Anytime a body get a cut or has internal stress, that body is unhealthy. The members are designed to help one another. Often when one member is weak and hurting, the other members have a way of compensationg for their weakness. For example a blind person may have a very acute sense of hearing or smelling.
- All the members should suffer and rejoice together (12:26). A good way to know if you are part of the body is to ask yourself, “Do I hurt when other members are hurting?” Do you rejoice when others are rejoicing? Or do you get jealous when others are blessed. A true member of the body feels the pain and the joy of the others. As proof, just hurt your little toe or have a tooth ache and your whole body will experience the pain.
I hope this devotional will challenge your opinon of and relationship to the other members of the body. If you are saved, you are a member of the body of Christ, you are part of the family of God, and you and I had better start getting along because we are going to be together for all of eternity!