Originally scheduled for November 15
1 Corinthians 10:17 NASB
(17) Since there is one
bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one
One of the
difficulties of translating one language into another is that the
same word may have different meanings. The author of the text may
have use that word to mean one of those meanings, or perhaps more
than one of those meanings. This type of text is very difficult to
translate. Take, for example, the Greek word for “body.” It has a
number of meanings.
It can simply mean the body of a man or an animal, living or dead.
This meaning it shares with English.
You can also mean planets and stars — usually translated “heavenly
Another sense familiar to Christians is that of being a body of
men; the church is often described as being the body of Christ.
however, a fourth definition. It’s meaning is something which casts
a shadow — as distinct from the shadow itself. Paul just might be
alluding to this definition here.
To cast a shadow, a body would require light. We could see this as
the light of God shining upon the church, casting the shadow which
then portrays God to mankind.
More to the point, perhaps, to make a shadow you need something
which is solid and opaque — something which can be seen. This
physical, tangible nature which can interact with light also
characterizes the church. We are the body of Christ in the world.
obvious point of this particular verse is that we, the church, show
ourselves to be one body — a single entity, casting a single shadow.
That unity is particularly important for evangelism. But we also
proclaim ourselves to be solid. If you will, by the very act of
proclaiming our unity in communion, we are telling the world that we
are not just some random collection of people. We proclaim ourselves
to be something which casts the distinct shadow in the light of God.
We say by this act that we are proclaiming that we represent, that
we model, the heart and soul of Jesus Christ. In us, men may see the
image of Christ.
claim we make when we take the same body, the same bread. We are
telling the world that if they want to see Christ they should look
here. The question for us is quite simply this: if they look at us,
do they really see Christ? Perhaps as you examine yourselves this
morning you should be asking this question. Do I really look like