Thursday, April 28 – 1 Corinthians 12:12-24a
For just as the body is one and yet has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
For the body is not one part, but many. If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any less a part of the body. And if the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has arranged the parts, each one of them in the body, just as He desired. If they were all one part, where would the body be? But now there are many parts, but one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again, the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, it is much truer that the parts of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those parts of the body which we consider less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor, and our less presentable parts become much more presentable, whereas our more presentable parts have no need of it.
In an adult human body, there are typically 650 muscles, as many as 213 bones, and more than 35 trillion cells. This fact of the complexity of the body has a special level of significance after reading this passage. This passage becomes more than an analogy, but a complex picture of how diverse and unified God desires His people to be. The parts of the body are so different, and some don’t have much more in common than sharing the same body. Paul used this picture of the body at work to remind us that none of the parts can function in isolation.
If you are a follower of Jesus, it is essential for you to be connected to the body. You have a part to play, a place to serve, and a seat at the table. You need to be poured into by the members of this body and they need your partnership in the gospel. Is the gospel vast enough, strong enough, and deep enough to see past your differences with others and grow as the body? Will you be a vessel of unity or dissention because you want to be right? 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 says, “Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their wrongdoings against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” If you are a follower of Jesus, you are a part of this incredible, diverse, intricate body. May God bring about His ministry of reconciliation through you so that you can be a beacon of unity in the place He has called you and with the gifts He has given you.
- Where do you tend to fall short in unity? When do you tend to disengage yourself or disqualify others?
- Why is unity and diversity of the body so essential?
- Pray and ask God to help you value the diversity and unity that He does.
 Rachael Rettner and Scott Dutfield, “The Human Body: Anatomy, Facts & Functions,” LiveScience, December 17, 2021, https://www.livescience.com/37009-human-body.html#section-fast-facts.