My daily exploration of the Bible, taking it one chapter at a time. If I do it everyday, it'll take 1189 days.



Sunday, November 11, 2007

2 Corinthians 12

Thorny sides

Summary:
But wait... there's more boasting! I know someone who went up to the highest heaven when he was still alive. He saw amazing things. I'll boast about him, but not myself. I'll let my actions talk. God keeps me humble through torment. He doesn't take it away no matter how much I pray. He offers grace, but not relief.

Wonders and miracles accompany an apostle. The only thing you missed out on from me was me being a burden. And when I visit again, I still won't be a burden. I don't want your things. I want you. I want the best for you, though I'm a bit scared that when I come to see you, God will humble me through your struggles. Perhaps I will be a disappointment to you too.

Key verse:
10. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

My thoughts:
I feel that this phrase summarises chapters 11 and 12 quite well. It is a reversal of the normaly worldly way of thinking about things. It is in our weaknesses that we simply have to trust God. Paul has to do this with the mysterious 'thorn' in his side. He doesn't know why it's there and why God hasn't taken it away, but because he can't understand it he simply has to trust God's grace. This is what Paul takes pride in. It is when he does not understand and doesn't have a clear well-thought-out answer.

Many people have speculated as to what this 'thorn' is, but no-one really knows. Could be anything from an illness, to spiritual torment, to a person.

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