Paul used the body allusion to communicate the need of working together to the Corinthian believers and to us as well. In 1 Corinthians 12:12 he talks about the one body composed of various parts. He writes, “For just as the 09 one bodybody is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many are one body, so it is with Christ.” Actually the first 30 verses of Chapter 12 of 1 Corinthians could be neatly outlined using the “one body” idea. Verses 12–14: one body, each part doing what it should, when it should, communicating with the head. Verses 15–19: one body and diversity—desiring one another’s gifts. Verses 20–24: one body and discrimination—disparaging one another’s gifts. Verses 25–27: one body and development—depending on one another’s gifts. Verses 28–31: one body and discretion—desiring the greater gifts.

Sir Michael Costa was conducting a rehearsal in which the orchestra was joined by a great chorus. About halfway through the session, with trumpets blaring, drums rolling, and violins singing their rich melody, the piccolo player muttered to himself, “What good am I doing? I might just as well not be playing. Nobody can hear me anyway.” So he kept the instrument to his mouth, but he made no sound. Within moments, the conductor cried, “Stop! Stop! Where’s the piccolo?” It was missed by the ear of the most important person of all. The other instrument players may be so wrapped up in their own performances as to not miss a piccolo player, but the great conductor, the one who’s leading us, the one to whom we all must give an account always hears our solos.

The whole point of Paul’s body illustration is to drive home the truth of how much we need one another to be as effective as God wants us to be. Dizzy Dean, famous baseball pitcher, once was hit by a line drive directly on his toe. Not too big a deal. But he didn’t give it adequate time to heal and instead kept pitching. Because of the pain he felt whenever he put any weight on that toe, he changed his delivery. This put additional stress on his pitching arm, and forced him into retirement. A “little thing” like a stubbed toe ended up having major and unforeseen consequences.