2 Corinthians, Chapter 12
© Copyright 2003 Darroll Evans, all rights reserved
In my opinion, verse 1a belongs with chapter 11.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††
Paul says that it is not profitable for him to boast. Vain personal boasting is foolish.
After that short disjoined phrase, Paul turns to another matter. He now looks to "visions and revelations of the Lord."
Paul begins to speak of himself in the third person. He speaks of himself as a man in Christ he knew fourteen years ago.
That man (Paul) was caught up into the third heaven. He was taken to a place where men go only at the bidding of the Father.
Paul did not try to analyze his experience. He just experienced it. The manner of his catching away was of no importance.
In this special place, perhaps Godís own throne room, he experienced things that are inexpressible. Miracles are always inexpressible.
To those that experience miracles, not explanation is necessary. To those that do not believe no explanation is sufficient.
If you have experienced a miracle you know what I mean. When you tell those that do not know, they just look at you with that blank, and yet questioning expression. It can be frustrating to tell about miracles.
Paul said that even if we want to brag about a certain matter, it is foolish. Telling the truth is not bragging.
Paul experienced great revelations. None of them were due to his efforts.
Here he speaks about the famous or infamous thorn in the flesh. This thorn was a messenger (Gr. angelos-angeloV) from Satan.
Many think that the "thorn" was an illness. But, notice that Paul says it was a "messenger of Satan." The Bible never uses the Greek word "angelos" to describe a physical condition.
The thorn may have been those Judaic legalists who followed him causing havoc when and where they could.
He prayed about it three times. The answer was positive.
Christ said, "My grace is sufficient for you, because my strength is made perfect in weakness." Paul went on to say that rather glory in his infirmities, so that the power of Christ may rest upon him. Verse 9 is the only verse in the entire Bible in which Christ Jesus uses the word ďgrace.Ē The verse tells us that Christís power is exhibited in our weakness.
Godís grace is sufficient for us today and yet there are not many who want to glory in (boast about) their weaknesses. As with Paul, when we are weak, God shows His strength. Far too many Christians are trying to demonstrate their power, when Christís power is exhibited through out weakness and not through our strength.
Paul declared that he took pleasure in his infirmities. When we admit that we are weak, God takes over.
Apparently some doubted Paulís authority. In our day such doubt would be a sign of spiritual ignorance.
Paul was not an inferior apostle, if there could be an inferior apostle. Each apostle had an area of expertise. Paulís was gospel of grace.
Paul said, "The children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children."
Paul had been a spiritual parent to the Corinthians. He considered it his duty to care for them.
The parting of the verses may seem odd, but there were no verses or punctuation in the original, and I believe that 16b should be part of 17.† Verse 16b should be read with a health dose of humor.
Paul did not try to take advantage of the Corinthians, or any other Church. He did not do attempt any self-promotion.
He mentions Titus in this section, because hen had written in other places that Titus was one of his sons-in-the-spirit. Only Titus (Titus 1:4), Timothy (1 Tim. 1:18) and Onesimus (Philemon 1:10) were that close to Paul.
When Titus, Timothy, and Onesimus treated others as Paul would have. They conducted themselves with the same spirit and in the same manner.
God was using this opportunity to establish His Word and His words. If we do not believe that the messenger has our best interests at heart we will not hear the message.
Paul did not want the Church at
The perversions mentioned here are evident within many Churches.
Repented (Gr. metanoeesantoon-metanohsantwn) speaks of a complete change of mind and direction.
Some teach that repentance is not part of the Christian experience.† They teach that belief is sufficient.† Apparently Paul was of a different opinion.
Belief brings repentance!
Belief without resulting repentance is an act of futility!
Repentance does not result in salvation, but is the result of salvation.