When one member suffers

Illustrative image

1 Corinthians 12:20-26 (NASB) says;

“But now there are many members, but one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.”

The Lord recently blessed me with an opportunity to gain new understanding into this passage.

The rotator cuff in my left shoulder has a 2 millimeter tear in it, probably the result of exercising without stretching enough (let the reader take a lesson from my mistake) and having the effect of causing me to have a great deal of pain. The pain is centered in the shoulder but sometimes shoots all up and down my arm, up into my neck, and even further afield. This makes it difficult to sleep at night (just when my youngest son was beginning to sleep all through the night) and that’s beginning to have an accumulatively painful effect on all other systems in my body.

The absurdity of the situation is also painful.

I mean, really, 2 millimeters? An object that small is almost invisible to the naked eye. As a proportion of my entire body, it’s ridiculously tiny. However, the pain that tiny little part of my body is in definitely effects all the other parts and in order for that tiny little part to heal and recover, the rest of my body is having to do all kinds of things differently than it ordinarily would. My physiotherapist has given me lots of instructions, and few of them are very much fun.

It’s a real hassle, but if I want my body to become fully functional, I have no choice but to take care of this tiny member which is damaged.

Brothers and sisters, think on this for a moment.

The Body of Messiah in Israel is tiny. The most generous estimates place the numbers of Believers in this country between 20-25,000. By any standard, that’s a very small number. As a percentage of the Body of Messiah worldwide, it’s tiny.

But as tiny as we are, we have a place in the plans and purposes of God that makes us very special and important. We are the remnant of faith in the country where the Bible’s past, present and future were all recorded. This gives us responsibilities that no other member of the Body has. Also, and I say this carefully, it also entitles us to certain unique considerations from the worldwide Body of Messiah.

Psalm 122:6 says; “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, May they prosper who love you” I am convinced that nothing can bring peace to this city where I live and which I love other than the arrival of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ. But He said in Matthew 23:39 “”For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!'”

He was speaking to the Jewish People, telling them what condition their hearts would have to be in before He came back to Jerusalem to establish His Kingdom and bring peace to the city and by extension the entire world.

So if you want to be obedient to the command of Psalm 122:6, you should pray for revival among the Jewish people living in Jerusalem, so that their hearts will be ready to accept their King and Messiah and welcome Him back to the city from which He ascended into Heaven. The role of the Believing remnant in this country will play in this is self-evident, and the need of the remnant for prayer is also self-evident.

In the meantime, you can also take a lesson from the Apostle Paul, who made a deliberate point of encouraging support, both practical and prayer support, for the Believers in Israel. He writes about this in Corinthians chapter 16, among other places.

Brothers and sisters, there are MANY members of the Body in Israel who are suffering. Many families struggle to pay their bills. The work that the congregations are doing could be much more effective if they had more funds. There is a long list of needs.

So, if you’re reading this and it speaks to you, please start (if you haven’t already) to make a point of praying daily for the Believers in Israel, and prayerfully seek for a way to give practical support to us as well.

Also, while you’re at it, please pray for my shoulder to heal. It really hurts.