1 Corinthians 12:27 “Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.”
I've known this verse for most of my life. I don't recall the first time I read it, but I'm sure it's been over 30 years, and probably more than 35. And very likely more than 40 years since the first time I heard someone else read it.
The analogy of the followers of Jesus being like the parts of a body is one of the most popular – at least in the circles I've been part of. People have even had fun trying to decide which part everyone is. I told my wife just today that I'm pretty sure she's the tongue (although she has a lot of competition for that particular honor).
Most Christians, I would imagine, have heard this term used at least a few times. “We are the body of Christ.” I can think of at least three songs off the top of my head that use this very terminology. It's one of those things that most of us take for granted. We rattle it off at various appropriate times, much like “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so,” and John 3:16.
But sometimes I wonder if we let the truth of this verse really get into our lives. I know I'm part of the body of Christ, but have I really fleshed out what that means?
Think about the last time you stubbed your toe, or banged your knee into the edge of your desk, or bumped your head. I imagine you said, “Oh, look. My left great toe is bleeding. Hmm...”
Of course you didn't. If you're anything like me, it was more like, “OOOOOWWWWWWWWW!” When one part of my body hurts, I'm in pain. If I bite the inside of my cheek, it hurts all of me, the same as if I bang my knee (which I do at least once every work week).
So, if my whole body sympathizes with my toe when it's hurting, shouldn't the body of Christ react the same way? If the toe is hurting, the rest of the body should rally to it.
By the same token, my hand can't steal without dragging the rest of me into trouble with it. My foot can't walk somewhere it shouldn't without taking the rest of me along for the trip. The same is true of Christ's body. Everything I do, for good or ill, affects the whole body. Not only that, but this isn't just a body. It's His body. So, everywhere I go, everything I do, Christ is going with me. It's His body, after all. I can't just ask him to wait for me at home while I borrow it to go out and have some fun.
I wonder how much different the church would be if all of us kept that in mind more often.