Summary: The importance of the local church, the body of Christ to work together and use their gifts.
Cooperation is needed in every part of our human body so it will function properly. Take for example the foot it has 26 bones, 19 muscles, and 107 ligaments. Walking up stairs requires the cooperation of 300 different muscles. The sense receptors in your foot let your brain know exactly what kind of surface you’re walking on—rocks, ice, soft sand—and your foot immediately adapts. In the course of your life, you will walk about 100,000 miles. If you walk or jog for exercise, of course, that number will be higher. Although most people don’t often do this, the toes can be used to pick up things. Some people can even write or draw with their feet. All this is done when our body, brain, bones, muscles, and ligaments cooperate together.
No wonder Paul used the foot as well as other body parts in 1 Cor. 12:14-31 to illustrate the need for cooperation with one another in the local church. Paul states in verses 14-19, “For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be?”
Paul is telling us as the church we must cooperate and work together to do the will of Christ. Romans 12:4-8 teaches us that every member of the church family has a responsibility; it may be prophesying, (which could be understood as preaching the word of God. Paul points out in Rom. 10:15, “...And How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!" So preachers must cooperate in the body too!). It may be we have the gift of servicing the needs of the congregation as a deacon or in a number of others ways, teaching the Bible to children or the lost; exhortation; giving; leading as an elder, or showing mercy. Eph. 4:11-16 teaches that the body of Christ will not grow spiritually until the congregation is cooperating according to the will of God, every member, that is you and I must do the Lord’s work.
The human foot was described by Leonardo da Vinci as “a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art.” I would have to say when the body of Christ, the church works together you have so much more than just “a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art,” you have the beauty of Christ being revealed to the world so lost sinners can be added to the Body by obeying the Gospel and the saved staying saved! So whether you are a foot, ear, hand, or even a pinky toe, Christ needs your cooperation. The body of Christ will not be able to run, walk, or move until all its members are working, functioning and cooperating together.
Mark T. Tonkery
May 20, 2008
Facts about the human foot from The Original Inspirational Bathroom Book. Pp. 31 & 277.