This past Wednesday, in anticipation of new carpet installation and new furniture, I was moving some of the old furniture in the living room. I was waiting for my helpers to come when I decided to move our piano. It had wheels on it so I figured I could roll it off the carpet. Boy was I wrong. In the process I severely strained my back. I did help the other fellows when they came to help me out with the furniture, but that wasn’t very smart either. Since Wednesday evening when I prepared to go to bed, I’ve had agonizing back pain. Ouch! Even trying to pick up things from the floor has been a painful adventure. I am always amazed at how fragile these bodies are when it comes to pain and sickness. We truly do need all of our members functioning together.
This is the concept that Paul is teaching us in his letter to the Corinthians when he writes in the 12th chapter “For even as the body is one and yet has many members and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ (v.12 NASB). There is to be this unity in the midst of diversity. This is what these 3 chapters are all about (Chapters 12-14). He expands on this concept a little farther down the page when he writes, “And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it”, (v. 26-27). I sure do understand this concept of the body needing all its members working together. My back isn’t working and my whole body is feeling the effects.
In the body of Christ, the church, it is critically important for all the members to be doing their part. Paul encourages us throughout this chapter to realize how much we belong to one another. We are very dependent on all members working together for the glory of God. As my body has gotten older, all the members don’t work like they used to. At Corinth all the members are useful and gifted for their task within the body of Christ. In verses 23-26 Paul talks about us caring for one another and caring about one another. In these verses Paul is speaking about the less honorable or less seemly parts of the body. He is talking about the vital organs, the heart, the liver and the kidneys. Life can’t exist without these vital organs and yet the vital organs are unseen. They (the Corinthians) should not operate on the basis of competition or comparison but out of loving concern for one another. All the members need to be in mutual sympathy with one another.
This sympathy is not only seen in our dealing with one another, but in our dealings with the lost world. Jesus is the greatest example of giving up his own rights for the rights of others. Those rights included the worship of the angels in heaven and yet He came and died a cruel death, the death on a cross. But death couldn’t hold Jesus! Wow, we are part of His body. We should all be doing our part. Let’s let Jesus use us in whatever way He sees fit. Let’s say yes to Jesus even when it may end in an “Ouch”!
In Christ’s love,