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2 Corinthians 12 v 11 - 18

Paul again has to resort to irony in his exasperation at the accusations of some of the Corinthian believers. It is as if they were searching minutely for anything they could hold up against him and all they could find was that he hadn't asked for money from them for himself! Quite a compliment really! In his weariness, Paul makes fresh claims for himself:

1. He is every bit as good as these 'super-apostles' and his claim is based on the effectiveness of his witness. As Christian disciples that should be our point of direction: not what the church leader can do for us, but what we with him or her can do in our local community to spread the Kingdom of God. Don't let anyone treat you as an inferior Christian! Whatever their gifts, no matter how devoutly they appear to be, we are all one in Christ Jesus, slave and free, male and female, Jew and Gentile, hetro sexual and homo sexual, transgender or gender neutral, child or adult, all equal in the sight of Him!

2. Paul declares that it isn't the money of the Corinthians he is after, but they themselves. Sometimes it is easy to throw money at something. It makes us feel we have contributed and means we can remain detached and don't have to sacrifice our time. That is not to say financial giving is wrong, but we are also to give to God our time.

3. There seems to be the lingering suspicion from some of the church at Corinth that some of the money which had been given for the poor in Jerusalem had found its way into the pockets of Paul and his companions. Paul seizes on this suggestion and wrings it dry, he trusts his supporters as he would trust his own soul. Imagine being a friend of Paul's: the joy of spending time with such a great, learned mind, so full of the Holy Spirit; think too of the huge challenges of travelling with him, this was a man who kept on the move, whose desire to see the Kingdom of God advance was so paramount in his life that nothing was anywhere near the priority for him as this was!


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