THE BODY OF CHRIST
The apostle Paul instructs us, “Ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular” (1 Corinthians 12:27). Then he says more specifically, “As the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members…being many, are one body: so also is Christ” (12:12).
Paul is telling us, “Take a look at your own body. You have hands, feet, eyes, ears. You are not just an isolated brain, unattached to the other members. Well, it’s the same way with Christ. He’s not just the head. He has a body, and we comprise its members.”
The apostle then points out, “We, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another” (Romans 12:5). In other words, we’re not just connected to Jesus, our head. We’re also joined to each other. The fact is, we can’t be connected to him without also being joined to our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Paul drives this point home, saying, “The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread” (1 Corinthians 10:16-17). Simply put, we’re all fed by the same food: Christ, the manna from heaven. “The bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world” (John 6:33).
Jesus often spoke to his disciples in parables and each parable contained a hidden truth of God. These secrets have been shared by Father, Son and Holy Ghost from before creation: “I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 13:35). Jesus testifies that these hidden truths are revealed only to those who take time to seek them.
Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life…. I am the living bread which came down from heaven…. He that eateth me, even he shall live by me” (John 6:35, 51, 57). The image of bread here is important. Our Lord is telling us, “If you come to me, you’ll be nourished. You’ll be attached to me, as a member of my body. Therefore, you’ll receive strength from the life-flow that’s in me.” Indeed, every member of his body draws strength from a single source: Christ, the head. Everything we need to lead an overcoming life flows to us from him.
This bread is what distinguishes us as members of his body. We are set apart from the rest of humanity because we dine from a single loaf: Jesus Christ. “We are all partakers of that one bread” (1 Corinthians 10:17).