“For the body itself is not made up of only one part, but of many parts”.

1 Cor 12:14 GNB

The human body is made up of many parts. That is obvious, but it is also instructive. The ancient Greek philosopher Plato who lived about five hundred years before Christ, once drew a word picture of the body. He said “that the head was the citadel; the neck the isthmus between the head and the body; the heart the fountain of the body; the pores the lanes of the body; the veins the canals of the body” (W. Barclay, The Letters to the Corinthians, p126).

The apostle Paul grabbed hold of the image and used it as a metaphor for the church. The different parts each have a different function, but they work together to make the body effective. He knew that there were some believers who wanted power and prominence, not to take a humble place amongst the others.

Plenty of churches become the personal fiefdoms of a strong leader. Sometimes that is the minister, but not always. Small churches especially can become the power base of one family. And of course there are people, usually strong ministers, who believe that the church is their stage and the members are just there to be the props and boost their egos and publicise their reputations (and pay their salaries!). Just as a body has some more prominent parts, so the body of believers will function well because some shoulder more responsibility than others. But all have some role to play and the health of the whole depends on the willingness of the many parts to do their bit. The more who understand and fulfil their God-appointed task, the stronger the whole.


Lord, show me the part you want me to fill in your body.