The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” 1 Corinthians 12:21
Jia Haixia lost his sight in the year 2000. His friend Jia Wenqi lost his arms as a child. But they’ve found a way around their disabilities. “I am his hands and he is my eyes,” Haixia says. Together, they’re transforming their village in China.
Since 2002 the friends have been on a mission to regenerate a wasteland near their home. Each day Haixia climbs on Wenqi’s back to cross a river to the site. Wenqi then “hands” Haixia a shovel with his foot, before Haixia places a pail on a pole between Wenqi’s cheek and shoulder. And as one digs and the other waters, the two plant trees—more than 10,000 so far. “Working together, we don’t feel disabled at all,” Haixia says. “We’re a team.”
The apostle Paul likens the church to a body, each part needing the other to function. If the church were all eyes, there’d be no hearing; if all ears, there’d be no sense of smell (1 Corinthians 12:14–17). “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ ” Paul says (v. 21). Each of us plays a role in the church based on our spiritual gifts (vv. 7–11, 18). Like Jia Haixia and Jia Wenqi, when we combine our strengths, we can bring change to the world.
Two men combining their abilities to regenerate a wasteland. What a picture of the church in action!
Based on your spiritual gifts, what part do you play in the body of Christ? How are you joining with others to fulfill His mission?
Holy Spirit, thank You for giving me spiritual gifts and arranging me in a body where I’m needed.
In Paul’s first New Testament letter to the Corinthians, he describes two ways his readers have been overlooking the body of Christ. First, they were ignoring the significance of sharing bread and wine in remembrance of His shed blood and broken body (1 Corinthians 11:29). In the process, they were also failing to live for the good of one another. Paul went on to explain that the Holy Spirit had gifted them to work together, just as members of our human bodies help and depend on each other (12:12–27). Paul sees his readers as members of the body of Christ brought together to share the heart of love he describes in chapter 13.