1 Corinthians 12 and Dr. Seuss


Grace and peace, brothers and sisters, and greetings to the lost.

What do 1 Corinthians 12 and Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears A Who have in common?  Both share the message “Everyone is a who, no matter how small.”

In the classic Dr. Seuss tale, Horton the elephant hears a tiny voice coming from a flower.  As it turns out, an entire town—a world—of people live in there.  If I recall the story correctly, no one believes Horton when he says that people actually live in the flower.  So, in order that people will know that he was right, Horton suggests that the entire town yell “We’re here!” so that everyone can here them.  So all the people in the little town yell, “We’re here, we’re here, we’re HERE!” into a microphone so loudly and strongly that eventually their voices break through the flower and everyone hears that there is indeed a little world of people living in that little flower.

The message of that story is that no matter how small or seemingly insignificant a person is, he is a person just like everyone else, and therefore, has just as much value as anyone else.

This is also the message of 1 Corinthians 12.  Paul conveys the message to the church that no matter how insignificant one may feel, we are all important to the body of Christ.  To illustrate his point, Paul uses the analogy of the human body.  Beginning in verse 12, Paul says,

“For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.”

He continues this analogy in verse 14,

“For the body is not one member, but many.  If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?  And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?”

He then explains that not everyone can be the eye or the foot, because if it were so, then the body would lack the other parts and their functions:

“If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing?  If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?” (v. 17).

He then explains that God has given every part of the human body a specific purpose according to His will…

“But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him” (v. 18).

…and if everyone were an eye or an ear, then the body would be incomplete:

“And if they were all one member, where were the body?” (v. 19).

Therefore, even though the human body is made up of many different parts, each one is part of the whole…

“But now are they many members, yet but one body” (v. 20).

…and none is more important than another:

“And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you” (v. 21).

And the parts that seem to be the least important are, in fact, very important, and should be the more praised.  Therefore, the least beautiful members of the body are actually the most beautiful:

“Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:

“And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness:” (v.v. 22-23).

For our most beautiful parts are not the most necessary, because God has made the body in such a way that the most beautiful parts are nothing without the least beautiful.  Therefore the least beautiful are the most honorable:

“For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:” (v. 24).

He has done this so that all parts of the body will receive the same honor; and there will be no division in the body:

“That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another” (v. 25).

And all parts of the body are alike; so that if one part suffers, the whole body suffers; likewise, if one part is praised, then the whole body should be praised:

“And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it” (v. 26).

Paul now brings the analogy home to the body of Christ:

“Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular” (v. 27).

And every member of the body has a different function and purpose:

“And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues” (v. 28).

He next asks a rhetorical question emphasizing that not everyone in the Body of Christ can be a teacher or a prophet:

“Are all apostles? are all prophets?  are all teachers?  are all workers of miracles?

“Have all the gift of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?” (v.v. 29-30).

The idea is that no one in the Body of Christ is unimportant.  You may not be a pastor or a teacher, or have the gift of tongues or of healing; but that doesn’t mean that you are not important.  Everyone has an integral role in the Body of Christ.  One ministry, for example, that is often overlooked is prayer.  Prayer is the backbone of the Church, and all ministries need prayer.

If you are living a sanctified, separated, and righteous life; that is, a life totally committed to obeying Jesus Christ, and living your life according to His will, then God hears your prayers.  You are doing better than maybe sixty percent of those who name the name of Christ, whose prayers go no farther than the ceiling.

Pray, therefore.  You don’t need to be beautiful, handsome, eloquent, charismatic, or even smart to be an effective prayer warrior.  You only need to be obedient and willing.  The Bible says that prayer can move mountains.  “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much,” says the Apostle James, the brother of Jesus (James 5:16).

Pray, therefore.  You can pray for your pastor, for Christian ministries, for missionaries, the sick and infirm, your elected officials, and most importantly, the unsaved.  You may even direct your prayers to a specific individual or group.

The important thing to remember is that you don’t have to look far for a way to be of service to the Body of Christ, and you need not feel as though you don’t have a purpose or ministry.  When God saved you, He already had a ministry set aside just for you, and it is a ministry that only YOU can perform.

Never forget that in the Body of Christ, every one is a Who no matter how small.

Be encouraged and look up, for your redemption draweth nigh.

The Still Man

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