|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 26. - Whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it, etc. St. Chrysostom illustrates this verse by saying that if a thorn runs into the heel, the whole body feels it and is troubled; and that, on the ether hand, if the head is garlanded, the whole man is glorified.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And whether one member suffer,.... Pain; even the meanest, lowest, and most distant, as the foot or hand, toe or finger:
all the members suffer with it; are more or less affected therewith, and bear part of the distress; as is easily discerned, by their different forms and motions on such an occasion: so when anyone member of the mystical body is in affliction, whether inward or outward, of body or mind, the rest are, or should be, affected with it, condole, sympathize, help, and assist; and remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them, as if they themselves were in bonds, and them that suffer adversity, whether spiritual or temporal, as being in the body, not only in the flesh, but as being part of the body, the church; and therefore should weep with them that weep, and bear a part with them in their sorrows. The Jews have a saying (f), that
"if one brother dies, all the brethren grieve; and if one of a society dies, , "the whole society grieves";''
and also another (g),
"that everyone that afflicts himself, , "with the congregations", is worthy to see or enjoy the comfort of the congregation or church;''
or one member be honoured; by being set in the highest place, and employed to the greatest usefulness, or by being most richly and beautifully clothed and adorned:
all the members rejoice with it; as sharing in the honour, Or benefit of it: so if one member of the church of Christ is honoured with an high office, with great gifts, with a large measure of grace, spiritual light, knowledge, and experience, with great discoveries of the love of God, with the presence of Christ, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, or with the good things of this life, and an heart to make use of them for the interest of religion, the other members rejoice at it; for so it becomes the saints to rejoice with them that rejoice, and be glad, both at the temporal and spiritual prosperity of each other: and upon the whole it is clear, that the meanest have no reason to be discouraged, nor the highest and greatest to be proud and elated.
(f) T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 105. 2. & 106. 1. Vid. Maimon. Hilch. Ebel, c. 13. sect. 12. & Seder Olam Rabba, p. 9. (g) T. Bab. Taanith. fol. 11. 1.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
all … suffer with it—"When a thorn enters the heel, the whole body feels it, and is concerned: the back bends, the belly and thighs contract themselves, the hands come forward and draw out the thorn, the head stoops, and the eyes regard the affected member with intense gaze" [Chrysostom].
rejoice with it—"When the head is crowned, the whole man feels honored, the mouth expresses, and the eyes look, gladness" [Chrysostom].
1 Corinthians 12:26 Parallel Commentaries
1 Corinthians 12:26 NIV
1 Corinthians 12:26 NLT
1 Corinthians 12:26 ESV
1 Corinthians 12:26 NASB
1 Corinthians 12:26 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible