What is the Body of Christ?

For the umpteenth time, Mima stood, paced a few times and sat.

“A quarter past four,” she grumbled, though Jenny was well aware of it.

“Well it’s not my fault,” Jenny whined.

“Didn’t you tell her where and when she was supposed to be here? She’s ten minutes late and I have to leave in another ten!”

“I told her. I made sure she knew.”

“Well…” Mima threw up her arms.

They could recite their lines over and over, but until Sarah came with the camera, they couldn’t film the video.

A pile of books came down heavy on the table.

“Sorry I’m late…” Sarah was very obviously out of breath. “Emily dropped her papers and… they blew everywhere. She… asked me to help.”

“And you just couldn’t say no for once,” Mima rebuked. She wasn’t feeling forgiving.

“Actually,” Sarah muttered, “she’s usually the one asking for help. It probably did her good to be the one giving it for a change.”

“Yeah, but not while we’re waiting on her.”

0083-what-is-the-body-of-christ

Mima, Jenny and Sarah were supposed to be a team. They were supposed to work together – not against each other – towards a common goal.

Similarly, God’s people – call them Christians, believers or the Church – share their own common goal. All sorts of people are Christians. They have diverse interests, personalities, and quirks, but their common goal is big enough and important enough to unite them. Of course, they don’t always interact perfectly. Even so, God’s design is for them to work together.

The Bible provides a helpful word picture to help us understand this:

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.

-Romans 12:4-5

The Body of Christ

That’s right, the “Body of Christ” (in this context!) doesn’t refer to the physical arms, legs and head of Jesus. It’s a word picture to help us understand how individual Christians are supposed to work together as a whole.

There are three Bible passages in particular that build on this word picture:

Reading through these passages, I notice two recurring themes about the members of the Body of Christ. I’m planning to share my thoughts on these in another post a week from now. But what about you? What themes stand out to you as you read these passages?

Leave a comment and tell me:

  • Are you a part of the Body of Christ? What is your function?
  • Does it seem confusing that so diverse a group of people can work together in unity? Does it help to think about your physical body and the way it works? How?
  • What are some ways in which the members of the one body work together?
  • Ephesians 4:15 tells me that Jesus is the head of the Body of Christ. What does that mean in practical terms?
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