Paul gave a practical illustration of the various members of the one human body. If any one member (such as an ear) occupied the whole, not only would the body be destroyed, but also the result would be a monstrosity. The danger was that some brethren in the Corinthian church were becoming high-minded about the gifts they had received. Paul treated the problem in a masterful way. Not only did he use the illustration that there are many members in the one body, but in addition, he used a standpoint that is generally overlooked. He used the body as a picture from two different standpoints, that is, from two types of reasoning. Most sermons are based on the standpoint of the many members being one body and of the varieties of service.
1. Verses 15 and 16 read, “If the foot [or ear] shall say, Because I am not the hand [or eye], I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?” Paul wrote these verses from a passive, introspective, negative standpoint. The foot was discouraged, thinking it was not part of the body because it did not have the particular gift or opportunity of service that the hand had. And in discouragement, a Christian can feel, “The Lord is not dealing with me because I do not have the opportunities of service that others have.” Each Christian should examine himself honestly and do something according to his own talent(s) and ability.