1 Corinthians 12:21-27

In 1 Corinthians 12:21-27 Paul continues his instruction on spiritual gifts. Now Paul writes to those tempted to pride and a sense of superiority because of their gifts or place in the body. They cannot say to such parts, “I have no need of you.” God has created each member of the body uniquely and necessary for the good of all in the body. Every person is important and essential to God’s plan. “The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” Often, we consider a part of our body unnecessary or of low importance, until it is hurt – then we realize how important it is! The hand or the eye may seem to be more important, and may have more “glamour” in its position, but it is not more necessary or important than other parts of the body.

If someone feels they are a “hidden” or “unglamorous” member of the body of Jesus Christ, God knows how to bestow honor upon them. God knows the value of each one of us, and will make sure that we are given the honor we should have as equal members of the body. “On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require.” Clarke wrote about the less honorable parts: “Seem to mean the principle viscera, such as heart, lungs, stomach, and intestinal canal. These, when compared with the arms and limbs, are comparatively weak; and some of them, considered in themselves, uncomely and less honourable; yet these are more essential to life than any of the others.”

There is never any reason for division in the body. The “pride” of the “honorable” member is checked, as is the “shame” of the “less honorable” member. Spiritual gifts should NEVER cause any rift or division in the body. If they do, they are not being used as God designed, but for selfish motives. “But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.” The Corinthian Christians, and you and me, should care for one another because they are all part of the same body.

Here’s the reality. What happens to any member of the body happens to all members of the body. The parts of the body work together. The eyes and ears do not only serve themselves, but the whole body. The hands do not only feed and defend themselves, but the whole body. The heart does not only supply blood to itself, but serves the whole body. Sometimes there is a part of our body that only lives to serve itself. It doesn’t contribute anything to the rest of the body, and everything it gets it uses to feed and grow itself. We call this cancer. “If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” God designed us as One.

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