|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
12:12-26 Christ and his church form one body, as Head and members. Christians become members of this body by baptism. The outward rite is of Divine institution; it is a sign of the new birth, and is called therefore the washing of regeneration, Tit 3:5. But it is by the Spirit, only by the renewing of the Holy Ghost, that we are made members of Christ's body. And by communion with Christ at the Lord's supper, we are strengthened, not by drinking the wine, but by drinking into one Spirit. Each member has its form, place, and use. The meanest makes a part of the body. There must be a distinction of members in the body. So Christ's members have different powers and different places. We should do the duties of our own place, and not murmur, or quarrel with others. All the members of the body are useful and necessary to each other. Nor is there a member of the body of Christ, but may and ought to be useful to fellow-members. As in the natural body of man, the members should be closely united by the strongest bonds of love; the good of the whole should be the object of all. All Christians are dependent one upon another; each is to expect and receive help from the rest. Let us then have more of the spirit of union in our religion.
Verse 19. - And if they were all one member, where were the body? The interests of the individual must never overshadow those of the Church. In the Church, as in the body, the hypertrophy or the atrophy of any one member is injurious, not only to itself, but to the whole.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And if they were all one member,.... As all eye, or all ear, or all hand, or all foot:
where were the body? where would be the body? it would not be a body consisting of such proper and suitable members, as now it is: so if the community of the saints were either all ministers, or all hearers, &c. there would be no body, consisting of different persons, to receive any benefit or usefulness from either; the church of Christ would not be that uniform, useful, and consistent community it is.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
19. where were the body—which, by its very idea, "hath many members" (1Co 12:12, 14), [Alford].
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