Christians believe that our Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church. It is His Church – the Church is the Body of Christ.
He gave a simple and very graphic illustration of this in First Corinthians 12: 14-28 which reads:
“For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If all the body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If all hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body as it has pleased Him. And if they were all one member, where would be the body? But now indeed many are the members, yet only one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of you; nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. But much rather the members of the body seeming to be weaker are necessary. And those members of the body which we think to be less honourable, on these we put more abundant honour around them. And our unpresentable members have more abundant propriety. For our presentable members have no need, but God tempered the body together, giving more abundant honour to the member having need; that there not be division in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is glorified, all the members rejoice with it. And you are the body of Christ, and members in part.”
By all accounts, the Church, the Body of Christ, is under great and increasing persecution and beset with rifts and ongoing internal splits and divisions. I was wondering how Jesus must be feeling about this state of His body at this time, in terms with which I could understand.
Here is a simply analogy to put it all in perspective:
1) The human body has a density close to that of water ~ 1000 kg/m^3 and an average person weight maybe 70 kg, which gives an approximate body volume of V=m/M = 70/1000 = 0,07 cm = 70,000,00 ml [cite-1]
2) There are about 3 .5 million Christian churches in the world. [cite-2]
3) Assuming the Body of Christ has a 3.5 million members and the average human body size/volume of 0.07cm, then each individual Church community which comprises the Body = body / churches = 70,000,000 / 3,500,000 = 200 ml per church.
4) 200 millilitres = 2x 10 x 10 mm or 4 x 5 x 10 mm or 6 x 6 x 5.5 mm or approximately a 6mm cube or a ¼” cube.
Now, imagine with me, that your average body is made from 3.5 million little blocks. If so, then each block is roughly a ¼” or a 6mm cube.
Now, imagine with me that just one of these little cubes or ‘Churches’ within your body and being split or is in pain. No matter where that little cube is, no matter where that Church is within your body, it will hurt!
Imagine a Church being snuffed out by persecution in a far country – imagine the pain as that cube, that Church, is summarily extracted from your body!!
Imagine the pain of denominationalism, as chunks of your body struggle openly with others!!!
If you can grasp this word picture above, Jesus’ words of John 11:35 seem apt.