Friday, January 21, 2022

1 Corinthians 12:12-31

If you want to understand how so much diversity is united, think of the human body as an illustration of Christ. The body has a lot of different parts with differing functions -- all working together to keep the whole body functioning. 13 Through baptism the Holy Spirit has brought together people from a lot of different backgrounds into a single body. Some of those bonded through baptism are Jewish. Some not-at-all Jewish. Some are slaves, while others are free. Can you think of a more unlikely mix brought together by the one Spirit? 14 Our bodies aren’t made up of a single part. There are many organs. 15 Imagine the foot throwing a pity party because it’s not a hand! Is the foot any less important to the body because it’s not a hand? 16 Or, what about the ear? Does the ear complain because it’s not an eye? Does the fact that the ear can’t see make it any less a part of the body? 17 Consider the absurdity of the whole body consisting of a single giant eyeball! If that were the case how would the body hear? Or if the body were a giant ear how would it smell? 18 God has designed each of the body parts to carry out a function of his choosing. 19 What would happen to a body if all the organs were exactly the same? 20 It is plain and obvious that just as there is one body, that one body has many parts. 21 So the eye isn’t allowed to tell the hand that it isn’t needed. Likewise, the head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.” 22 The irony, of course, is that some of the less-prominent body parts are the most essential. 23 Even the private parts that we’re most likely to cover up end up getting the most attention. 24 The presentable parts don’t get the same scrutiny. God has designed the body so that the less presentable parts of the body end up getting more noticed. 25 He did this so that all the diverse parts of the body would work together and look out for each other. 26 If one part struggles, all the parts struggle; if one part is well, all the other parts are happy for it. 27 Here’s the point, together y’all are the body of Christ and each one of you is a part of it -- an essential part attached to all the other parts. 28 This is evident in the way that the church functions. First off, God appointed some to be apostles. Then he appointed some to be prophets. Then came the teachers, those who could do miracles, the gifted healers, the super helpers, the skilled leaders, and those gifted in languages. 29 Consider how clunky and non-functional things would be if everyone were an apostle, or a prophet, or a teacher, or a miracle-worker, 30 or a healer, or a polyglot, or one who can interpret mysterious languages. 31 Yes, yes, strive to develop gifts that have a great impact but let me show you something even more significant.