We Are One Body
1 Corinthians 12:12-31
They praised God and demonstrated God’s goodness to everyone. (Acts 4:27)
Today’s Bible story is from the letters Paul wrote to the church at Corinth. During his missionary travels, Paul helped establish that church and became friends with the followers there. As Paul was continuing on his missionary journey, he heard that the Christians in Corinth were struggling and arguing among themselves. Specifically, they were quarreling over who was most important. Paul wrote to his friends at Corinth to remind them that each person is important in his or her own way.
To make his point, Paul used the one-body-many-parts metaphor, which was common in the Greco-Roman world and would have been familiar to Paul’s readers. In chapter 12 of 1 Corinthians, Paul used the metaphor in two ways. First, Paul addressed those members of the Corinthian church who had low self-esteem and wished they were something other than what they were. Verses 15 and 16 mentions the foot wishing it were a hand and the ear wishing it were an eye. Secondly, Paul addressed those who were suffering from an inflated sense of importance and looked down on others. Verse 21 says that the eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you,” nd neither can the head say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”
The ways Paul addressed those suffering from low self-esteem and those with an inflated sense of importance have a common message: Just as every part of the body is important and has its own purpose, every person is important and has a job to do. If one part of the body were missing, the body would not be the same. If even one person is missing from the church, the church is not the same.
• I have a special part to do to share God’s love.
• Together we do God’s work.
Activity Sheet Downloads: