The fingers of the hand symbolically represent the fivefold ministry that God sets up within the Church.
And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
Thumb: When looking at the hand the first thing you notice is the thumb. The thumb is obviously different to all the other fingers of the hand. The thumb is solid. It is shorter, fatter, blunter and set in the hand very differently to the other fingers. The thumb gives the hand its grip. In fact all the other fingers, although different to one another, have vast similarities and, compared to the thumb, are all basically the same, so it is easily understandable that they would all feel antagonistic towards the thumb, who always seems to be opposing them all yet cant seem to do what THEY all can! (Who does the thumb think he is?).
The thumb is set in the hand in such a way that it can face each of the other fingers face to face and can interact with all of them, and indeed can oppose them as well, to keep them in line when needed. But the thumb is however too blunt and too course to do the delicate work required in the palm and it can’t even touch or work in the palm of the hand! But it can certainly keep a close watch on all activities and all the actors within the palm. So the Thumb can easily observe, from the side and above, the interaction each finger has with the palm and anything or anyone that is in the palm! The Thumb can also “hover over” protecting and covering the palm, those in the palm and those working in the palm.
The Thumb is also the closest to both the Heart and the Head and is the one with the most direct connection to both the Head and the Heart. So it can best hear from the Heart and the Head and pass this on to the rest of the hand, ensuring everything is progressing according to Gods Plan and Christ’s Leadership.
Index Finger: Closest to the Apostle, the forefinger is always pointing and saying, “This is the way, walk you in it!” He shows the way but is often blunt and to the point, and is often like an annoyingly finger waggling in your face saying, “Thus sayest the Lord!” (Prophet use up a lot of exclamation marks!!!) In the Old Testament the prophet was the “Man of God” who brought the word of correction. He is the closest to the thumb so can work best and well with the Apostle. He is also closest to the middle finger and so the Prophet can work strongly with the evangelist as well.
Middle Finger: The middle finger is the longest and besides the thumb the strongest finger and is supported on all sides by the other fingers. He has the longest reach of all the fingers and can reach out the furthest to hook in and draw in others into the palm of the hand, where the whole hand clasps them and ministers to them caring, tend to and looking after them. Both the forefinger and middle finger work best with the thumb and can easily, firmly and strongly covered by the thumb (Apostle). These three then form the basis of a strong grip.
Ring Finger: The ring finger is the one that wears the marriage ring. It represents the Pastor, the one who is married to the Church. This symbolizes the marriage between Christ and the Church. The Pastor is Caring, Loving and Gentle, showing a strong commitment to the Body. The Ring Finger is supported on either side by the longest and shortest fingers. The pastor cares for and leads the flock. He is the “Shepherd” of the flock the one who tends to all their needs and has the loving arms and large heart to encompass them all. He laughs and cries with them, provides spiritual food for the table and watch over them as a shepherd does with the sheep. Note they are not HIS sheep but the Lords!
Little Finger: The little finger (pinkie) is the smallest finger, the shortest and thinnest, and the only one small enough to clean out the ears of the People. It is a most important job, the teacher, concerned with Minutia, Detail, Precision and so on. The Little Finger is almost separate from the rest of the hand, but is perfectly placed on the outer edge of the hand to catch those who are falling out of the palm of the hand, who are falling of the edge of the hand.
The Little finger is very important and is often needed to bring people back into the Hand, back in line. It is the last resort when all others have failed, appropriate teaching can save them going completely lost. But the Little Finger can’t function or work on its own! I is interesting to note that the last two fingers, ring and little finger, are almost inseparable, when the one moves the other must move in near unison.
Another interesting thing is that if the Little Finger lets go the grip is severely weakened. So the hands grip is simply and easily broken by removing the littlest finger from the grip by straitening it out, (try it!). The same happens if you straighten out the ring finger as well. So the littlest finger gives strength to the grip enabling the hand to firmly grasp what is in the palm and not loose it.
The Whole Hand Feeds, Cares for and Washes the Entire Body.
What about the rest of the ministries? Just because you don’t find yourself amongst the five fold ministry doesn’t imply that you don’t have a ministry. In fact the Five Fold ministry is there to equip the SAINTS (that’s you and me) to do the “front line” work of the Church. So we are all called to minister and these are what I call the Palm or Helps Ministries, which covers everything that goes on within the hand and how the Hand interacts with the whole Body (the Church) and how the Church interacts with the world. So the fivefold ministry equips all the other ministries and it is then they who then do the work. Finally: The fivefold ministry gifts are ultimately not titles but activities. So you may find yourself with many of the above attributes, but don’t be confused, remember that Christ is the fullness of ALL ministries, so as He lives in you, a shadow of ALL these attributes should also be exhibited in you as well. So don’t limit God or put yourself in a box by saying “Oh OK I’m this or that,” just relax and let the Lord use you as he sees fit at a particular place and time.