TO CHEW ON: From whom the whole body joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” Ephesians 4:16
Is your body operating with replacement parts? Modern medicine has made amazing progress at fixing faulty body parts and replacing those that no longer work well. I would hazard a guess, though, that no matter how slick your replacement heart valve, or what a great match your transplanted kidney is, it’s not as good as a healthy original.
Each of our body parts has its own function. Toes, fingernails, eyelashes, the ability to smell, taste, feel (yes, pain too) are important and missed when absent. Even a small discrepancy in, say, the length of one’s legs can have repercussions to posture, neck, back, and foot health. Most of the time we have no clue about how interconnected our body parts are—until one of them gets ill or stops working and our whole body feels the impact.
In today’s passage, where Paul underlines the importance of Christian unity (Ephesians 4:1-4), and identifies spiritual gifts available to believers (Ephesians 4:7-12), he ends with a sort of argument for the function and cooperation of each member in the body of believers by comparing this spiritual body to a physical body (Ephesians 4:13-16).
I love these segments:
"...Christ—from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies… working by which every part does its share...” Ephesians 4:16.
This reminds us that each individual is not only important but essential for the smooth functioning of the body of believers. Of course only God in His ultimate wisdom and omnipotence would have the smarts and power to also place us in physical churches on physical earth in our place and time where we also have a unique purpose and function.
For body growth and edification (Ephesians 4:16).
[Edify: to instruct or benefit, especially morally or spiritually; to uplift.]
So, don’t absent yourself from the Christian community just because you appear (to yourself at least) insignificant or useless. You are needed and essential as one of the "every joint” and “every part” of the body of believers.
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, help me to be a healthy part, in tune and cooperating with You, my Head. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.