1Co 12:26-28 “And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.”
Our bodies are designed for our members to have sympathy for the various parts. When our little toe finds that table leg, we do not have to stop and think “my hand ought to hold that foot until the pain subsides.” We automatically find the nearest place to sit down and our hands are holding the aching member without any conscious direction on our part.
Why should our hands care that we stubbed our little toe? It did not affect our fingers in any way. However, being able to rub our foot seems to help lessen the pain our toe is feeling. We are designed so that the suffering of any one member affects the whole body. The body’s natural reaction is to cover and protect the injured member.
We react in kind to having something positive happen to a member of the body. When my wife placed the ring on my finger at our wedding, my whole being was honored and happy. She had only placed the ring on my finger, but it affected my entire countenance and set my heart racing! All these years later, I seldom remove the ring from my finger and then with reluctance.
Our interactions with the members of the body of Christ should be even more profound than the echo we find in our physical being. Stop and consider in your heart for a moment what Paul has said in verse twenty-eight: “Now ye are the body of Christ.” The very idea should leave us breathless and trembling. We are sinners, and there is no self-righteous thing of which we can boast. Yet, by His grace, we are now the body of Christ!
No one of us individually can claim to be His wonderful body here in this kingdom. We are members in particular; that is to say we have a share or portion in His body. Even if we are just the little toe, when we suffer the other particular members of His body are going to gather around us for comfort and protection. When we are able to rejoice, every member of His body should rejoice with us.
God Himself has placed (set) us in the church. We are not there by accident but by holy design. We did not just walk up and strap ourselves in: God set us in the church (the body of Christ here). He set the members in order and gave gifts according to His holy purpose and will. He did not give everyone in the Corinthian church the same gift(s), nor does He give us all the same gifts today.
He sets in the church the members (gifts, offices) according to the manner that is going to best feed and care for the body. When the members are occupying the place where God has set them, then we will suffer with each other and we will rejoice with each other. There will be peace and harmony abounding to God’s glory and our edification.
May we rejoice together that God has set us in the body as members in particular and that we are now the body of Christ!