Each Providing a Useful Function
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 who are many form one body…
This is the first time Paul has used the concept of the body to describe the church. It is a theme he will continue throughout Corinthians, Ephesians, and Colossians. Paul tells us the church — as the body of Christ — is to function much like a human body. In the same way, although we are all members of the same body, we do not have the identical functions. Think about how many members there are in your own church. Hundreds maybe even thousands, each with their own specific and unique purpose. It is really a mind-bending thought, especially with how much science has taught us about the intricacies of our own bodies.
For example, consider the cilica: tiny hairs in your lungs. What is their purpose? They act like tiny brooms, sweeping dust and dirt particles from the air we breathe. A necessary and critical function, yet for the most part completely hidden from view.
Many times we look at the people around us — the gifts God gave them and the way He made them — and we think “he’s too aggressive”, “she’s too sweet”, or “they’re too loud.” We can’t imagine how they could possibly provide any useful function. But then again, we are not the designer of the human body, nor the body of Christ, God is. It is from this perspective we come to realize there are many members of the church’s body, and each one was designed by Him with a very specific part to fulfill.
Who are we to judge the value of another part of the body of Christ? Is one more important than another? No. One thing I enjoy doing is looking around and talking to people trying to discover the reason God placed this particular person in our church. Try it sometime. It really changes your perspective on the contributions of each individual member to the body.