1 Corinthians 12:15


Monday, 15 December 2014

If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 1 Corinthians 12:15

We were just told that “the body is not one member but many.” In support of this, and yet in order to defend the unity of the body, Paul will use parts of the body as if they were in a sort of rebellion against one another. This then would be likened to individuals within the church who were warring over their individual gifts. And so he begins with the hands and the feet.

A foot is a foot, but maybe it wants to be a hand. However, it is a foot, and so it rebels and says that it isn’t a part of the body because it’s not a hand. Does this change the fact that it is a member of the body? Not at all! It remains a foot and it will continue to serve as a foot to the body, regardless of whether it is happy about its “footiness.”

And whether the hand feels exalted over this or not, there is a truth which it may actually find to be rather underhanded. The hand can’t get the body to where it’s going without the foot! If the body is hungry and the necessary food is down the road at the market, the hand is rather useless in getting the body to the market. In fact, the hand may think that a conspiracy is afoot against it! But this isn’t the case. Rather, the foot is designed to perform its function and get the hand (and the rest of the body) to the market in a fairly fine fashion, thus out-footing the footlessly failing hand.

The body was constructed in a handy way to ensure that all of its parts are interdependent so that none outfoots another, but instead each part will graciously accept the role which Divine Providence has handed it.

This very passage of Scripture may have been on the mind of Alexander Pope when he penned these words to consider –

“What if the foot, ordain’d the dust to tread,
Or hand, to toil, aspired to be the head?
What if the head, the eye, or ear declined
To serve mere engines to the ruling mind?
Just as absurd for any part to claim
To be another in this general frame:
Just as absurd to mourn the fate or pains
The great directing MIND OF ALL ordains.
All are but parts of one stupendous whole,
Whose body Nature is, and God the soul.”
Alexander Pope, The Essay on Man, 1734

Life application: If you’re a foot, you are no less important than a hand. You are a part of the body which is indispensable to the whole. Be content with who you are; the body cannot work properly without you.

Lord, I am so thankful to You for this life. I know You have placed me in the exact time in history, in the exact location that I am, and in the perfect position in life for me to seek You out and to be used by You. All of the things that have happened to me along this journey have been a part of bringing me to where I am right now. Thank You for having selected every single thing, good and bad, to mold me for Your purposes. And help me to use it all so that the world can see You through me. Amen!

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