The human body is a complex, intricate system. The basic parts include the head, neck, torso, arms, and legs. But that is only the beginning. There are five vital organs: brain, heart, kidneys, liver, and lungs. We have 650 muscles that help our body move, 206 bones, 78 organs, and 30 to 37 trillion cells. Each part works together to make our body function.
Paul compares the church to the physical body. Each member plays an important part, and the church would not be the same if you and I were not in it. You are a gift to the church! As different as we each may be, we are created to work together, grow, worship, and serve. This unity, given through the Spirit, is a wonderful gift of God.
Being made new in Christ and baptized in the same Spirit enables diverse individuals to form one new body. Paul highlights two divisive issues in his culture: the mistrust between Jews and Gentiles and the division between slaves and free people. In Christ, even these extremely divided groups of people become one (v. 13).
Diversity of the members is a gift to the church. We should be thankful we are not all hands or feet or eyes; “there are many parts” (v. 20). Differences within the body of Christ should not be ignored, and in fact should be celebrated! Spiritual gifts are mentioned here as an example of how our differences work together (vv. 28–31). We are created together to serve the church.
Paul insists that this variety within the body of Christ is necessary and important. It is God’s intention that there is “no division in the body” and that we have “equal concern for each other” (v. 25). The church should model unity to the rest of the world.
Think about the church you attend. Consider the wide variety of people God has drawn together. As you pray for unity today, why not name each individual who comes to mind? Thank God for their unique characteristics and the gift they are to your congregation. Ask God to bless them and to preserve and grow unity within your church family.
Dr. John Jelinek would appreciate your prayers today. As the vice president and dean of Moody Theological Seminary, he shoulders a lot of responsibilities. May God provide him with wisdom and strength to continue leading well.