“The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ Nor can the head say to the feet, ‘Well, I don’t need you!’ On the contrary, we cannot do without the parts of the body that seem to be weaker’”.

1 Cor 12:21, 22 GNB

In today’s commercial world publicity is sometimes given to the huge disparity in salaries awarded to workers and to Chief Executive Officers. Of course there is endless debate as to whether the decisions made by the CEO in any company are what give the labourer at the bottom of the pile his job, or the other way round. In fact, they depend on each other.

In using the analogy of the human body to explain the nature of the church and how people “fit into it”, Paul was very conscious of the dynamics at work in Christian communities. Some dominated and wanted to be the big bosses. Others cringed in shyness and kept out of the way. Some wanted to run the show and thought they ought to, whilst others were content just to string along. Paul taught that every person had some part to play – but everyone had need of everyone else. No one could take the attitude “Get lost” to anyone else. Not only did the members need and depend on each other. God needed them and depended on them as well. They were an unruly crowd and some unhealthy attitudes prevailed. Some had a superiority complex. Others were happy to “leave it all to others”. Paul’s message was simple – and deep, “We belong together because we all belong to Christ”.

As members in Christ, his disciples down all the ages have had to learn this truth anew – everyone in the body depends on everyone else.


Lord, bind us together with cords that cannot be broken.