Many of the problems that have plagued Christianity since its start on the Day of Pentecost can be traced back to attempts made to pattern the Church after the Old Testament. The problem is that the Old Testament was not build on the concept of the One Body in any way. In the Old Testament, the Levites were the "spiritual" ones and the priests were the special ones called to handle all the formalities of worship.
In many respects, the Old Testament hierarchy was from the top down meaning that God only spoke to the priests who then ministered to the people. Jesus showed His disciples this concept was finished when He washed their feet the last evening He was with them. Jesus taught them that the day was coming when the leaders of the faith would be in reality the greatest servants and the One Body would be built from the ground up and not from the top down.
By drawing upon the example of the human body, Paul was able to show how within the Body of Christ there are a multitude of members who are each given a responsibility. As each member does what he or she is called to do, the Body works together and the Gospel of Jesus Christ moves forward. But, when there are schisms within the Body or some members feel their job is more important than others; the result is a broken Body unable to function in a way that brings positive results.
Within the Body of Christ, the person called to be a teacher or prophet is no better than the person called to pray. The member called to be a pastor is no better than the member called to pick up people to bring them to church. The person called to stand in the spotlight and sing is no better than the person making sure the lighting is just right.
There is absolutely no evidence to suggest there is supposed to be any kind of ranking of importance when it comes to functions within the Body. There is nothing in the New Testament to imply that those who hold positions of leadership are special and thus entitled to privileges the common member cannot have. There is nothing written in the New Testament that would justify clergy being better than lay people. All these differentiations are carryovers from the Old Testament and negate the finished work of Jesus Christ.
Of course there are elders, deacons and people within the Body of Christ charged with overseeing the flock, teaching them etc. But, those called to do these things are no better and will receive no greater eternal reward than those called to visit the sick, imprisoned or elderly. That is what Jesus taught in Matthew 25.
We are ONE BODY in Christ. Jesus Christ is the Head and we are all members in particular. Our job is to submit ourselves to the Head and to each other. Our job is to do whatever we can and do the best we can knowing that it is no more or less vital than what the person next to us is doing.
Whatever your role in the Body of Christ may be (and it may change daily), do it with all your heart and rejoice that Christ has allowed you the honor of being a member of His body, whether as the liver or a lowly blood cell. Every members is vital for the Body of Christ to function and live.
When I was going through cancer treatment, I gained a new appreciation for how the body functions and I gained a new appreciation for what it does at the cellular level. Believe me, the disruption of the function of some "lowly cells" can have a devastating effect on the entire body. I know for I experienced it in the physical sense. It has the same sort of impact within the Body of Christ...
Absolutely. I agree 100%. We are all servants to Jesus Christ. Every single one. And brothers and sisters in Christ. Whatever title is used. And HE is the head. The body exists for Him, through Him, and in Him. Great blog. Thanks.
Good blog. Yes, we are one body with Christ as the Head. We as members must never forget that all have a vital function and we all need each other to fulfill it. We all are important in His sight so we should be important to each other.
God bless you,