“Why Follow Jesus Christ the Head | Many Members but One Body” focuses on 1 Corinthians 12:12-27. It shows unity and diversity in the Body of Christ as a whole.
Think of all your body parts and the various functions they carry out. Some are simple while others are more complex. In any case, they are all vital to the overall well-being of the entire body.
Likewise, we may consider some more valuable than others. However, the less honorable work in collaboration with the seemingly more honorable.
I’ll take it one step further to draw similarity to the function of the human brain. It’s role from its position within the head is to orchestrate the operations of the rest of the body.
Many Members but One Body | A Unity of Diversity
“Just as the body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.” 1 Corinthians 12:12.
The Apostle Paul uses this astounding metaphor. He gives an example of following Christ as the head of a diverse yet unified body. It sheds light on the essence of the Christian faith.
This passage of Scripture also offers timeless lessons on the unity, diversity, and interdependence of the believers of Christ. And, serves as a reminder that individuals have various gifts, skills, talents, and roles.
Notwithstanding, it’s important to note that they are all an integral part of a greater whole. More importantly, these diverse gifts were given by Christ, the head, as He sees fit.
Compare this with the human body. It comprises various organs, tissues, and cells. Likewise, the Body of Christ comprises believers from various backgrounds, cultures, and experiences.
“For we were all baptised by one Spirit so as to form one body–whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free–and we were all given the one spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.” 1 Corinthians 12:13-14 NIV
However, we see division amongst entities that should be working together. Ecosystems work well when there’s collaboration in the midst of diversity. Believers also will fall into the trap of disunity.
The Creator of the universe set out a “manuscript” based on His ideal precepts for humanity. He determines good and evil, right and wrong. How can the created dictate to the Creator how anything should operate?
Free will allows human beings to make choices. As a result, some will be in opposition to the principles of God’s mandate. Hence, the end result is chaos and disunity.
Following Jesus Christ | The Head Wherein Is the Brain
Jesus Christ is the head of the body. Therefore, He provides direction, guidance, and purpose to believers individually and collectively.
Overall, Christ guides the collective actions and endeavors of His believers. Similarly, the head directs the body’s functions and movements.
Take the brain, for example. First of all it’s inside the head. Furthermore, it shapes our existence in various ways by orchestrating our sensory experience and coordinating bodily systems.
Certainly, this masterpiece and its functions fail in comparison to Christ. He is the Creator and Master of every aspect of the body physically and spiritually. But, it’s a significant analogy when we understand how the brain functions.
Let’s take a look at a paraphrase of Ephesians 4:15-16. Here, the Apostle Paul further admonishes the body of Christ.
We should communicate truthfully and lovingly instead of speaking deceitfully. This enables us to grow together in unity and maturity. In this way, we align ourselves with Christ, the head of the body.
From Him, the whole body is interconnected and held together through its various parts working together and supporting one another. Subsequently, the body grows and flourishes in love as each part fulfills its role.
Ultimately, this reinforces the importance of Christ’s role as the head and why we follow Him.
The Interdependence of Believers | Unity Amidst Diversity
Let’s examine the interdependence of each member in the body of Christ. Here’s a summary of some of Paul’s examples, 1 Corinthians 12:15-27:
- Should the foot say it doesn’t belong to the body because it’s not the hand? That wouldn’t prevent it from being a part of the body.
- What if the ear felt insignificant to the eye and thinks it doesn’t belong? Would that make it isolated from the body? Of course not.
- For example, the eye cannot be the whole body. Otherwise, where would the sense of hearing be?
- Also, the ear cannot be the whole body. For, where would the sense of smell be?
- God, in His wisdom, is responsible for placing everyone in the Body of Christ, exactly where they need to be.
- Furthermore, where would the body be if they were all one part?
- In summary, there are many members but one body.
- Thus, the eye cannot function effectively without the hand. Therefore, it cannot say it doesn’t need it.
- Likewise, the head cannot operate independently of the feet. And, cannot say it has no need of them.
- “On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem weaker are indispensable.”
- Similarly to the human body, “the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment.”
- God is instrumental in giving the appropriate attention to each part. This serves to encourage every member to be concerned for each other.
- In conclusion, every member of the Body of Christ is a part of the whole. Amen!
The Body of Christ in Unity | Other Scripture References
Here are some other Scriptures from the NIV that reference unity in the Body of Christ:
- Ephesians 4:3-4: “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called.”
- Colossians 3:14: “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
- Philippians 2:2-3: “then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.”
- Romans 12:4-5: “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”
- John 17:22-23: “I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one–I in them and you in me–so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved then even as you have loved me.”
- 1 Peter 3:8: “Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.”
- 1 Corinthians 1:10: “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.”
- Psalm 133:1: “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!”
Conclusion | Christ Directs His Body
For billions of believers around the world, Christ continues to guide, inspire, and transform lives. The Apostle Paul uses a profound metaphor comparing the relationship between Jesus Christ and the Church to the human body.
In the same sense, we looked at the analogy with the human brain. It interrelates with other organs and their functions for the well-being of the entire body.
Paul’s illustration challenges Christians to the intrinsic value of every believer in the Christian community. Each individual’s contribution is unique and essential to the function and growth of the collective body.
In this light, Christians are reminded to cultivate an attitude of empathy, cooperation, and unity within the body. As such, the call is for each believer to follow the leading of the head and embrace each other as indispensable.
Therefore, Christians must put away differences that only serve to create discord and disunity. On the contrary, they should work toward the common message which glorifies God and His purpose for humanity.
Believers need to recognize and appreciate the truth that diversity within the body enriches rather than divide.
God’s purpose will be fulfilled as He so lovingly guides and directs us. To that I declare, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it is in Heaven.” – Matthew 6:10. And, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” Revelation 22:20. Amen!
I hope this article, “Why Follow Jesus Christ the Head | Many Members but One Body” has been food for thought. Are you a member of the Body of Christ? If so, do you recognize the wisdom of God in the diversity among its members?
If you have questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. I will be happy to serve you.