I’m traveling to Greece and Turkey next month with my church and I’m studying about the people and the early churches.
I’ve learned that Corinth contains the ruins of a Temple where people came to worship a deified Greek physician, Asklepios, and to ask for healing. The rod of Asklepios is a snake-entwined staff, and continues as the symbol for modern medicine.
Terra cotta body parts carved by skilled craftsman have been found at the Temple at Corinth. They would have been placed there in gratitude for healing, or to ask for healing from the great god. These body parts are well-preserved, and we’ll get to see them when we visit the Archaeological Museum on the last day of our trip.
Now I’m reading 1 Corinthians 12 with a different view. In verse 26-27 we hear, “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”
In referring to “body parts”, Paul knew his listeners in Corinth would be reminded of their wounds and their need for healing. Paul offers them what their greek god can’t: the fellowship of a Christian community where we share each other’s pain, and rejoice in each other’s joys.
I pray that you have a Christian community where “…its parts shall have equal concern for each other.”