The writing of the Apostle Paul in First Corinthians 11:23-29 is commonly used during communion services. In this passage we are instructed to examine, or judge, ourselves lest we partake of the Lord’s Supper unworthily. But verses 30 and 31, the very next verses, are overlooked.
“For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.” – First Corinthians 11:30-31
The Greek word “unworthily,” anaxios (Strong’s G371), is defined by Thayer’s Greek Lexicon as an adverb meaning “in an unworthy manner,” and has been defined as such since the time of Sophicles (5th Century B.C.)
Who among us is worthy? We are only worthy because of the atoning blood of the Lord Jesus.
“And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart.” – Acts 2:46As seen in Acts 2:46, the celebration of the Lord’s Supper was included with meals. Over time these affairs became more about the dinner (and possibly drinking) and less about remembering the Lord Jesus. This is why Paul was admonishing them in First Corinthians 11:23-31 . He was concerned that the Lord’s Supper was being taken in an unworthy manner.
The judgment Paul referred to in First Corinthians 11:30 brought about sickness. If this is so, then perhaps the opposite can also be true. Remembering the Lord Jesus in a worthy manner brings about the opposite of sickness – healing.
There is both spiritual and physical healing in our relation with the Lord Jesus! (Isaiah 53:4-5) And if your relation includes communing with Him frequently, so much the better. Jesus drew a parallel between Himself and the brass serpent that Moses lifted up in the wilderness. (John 3:14) When Moses lifted up the brass, or bronze, serpent all the people that looked upon it were healed. (Numbers 21:9)
While encouraging the Church at Thessalonica, Paul prayed that their spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (First Thessalonians 5:23) Similar to the exhortation of First Corinthians 11:23-31, James the brother of Jesus, instructed us to confess our faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. (James 5:16)
There is spiritual, and physical, healing in our relation with the Lord Jesus. Remember Him by observing the Lord’s Supper. Remember Him frequently as the early Church did.
The Lord Jesus is mighty! He could have easily stopped mankind, that He created, from crucifying Him. But Jesus was, and is, gracious beyond our comprehension. He allowed Himself to be beaten and crucified to pay the price for our sins. Can we praise Him and thank Him too often?
Praise the Lord Jesus and commune with Him, now and forever!