Friday, 13 November 2015
Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters when we are absent, such we will also be in deed when we are present. 2 Corinthians 10:11
This takes us right back to the first two verses of the chapter –
“Now I, Paul, myself am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—who in presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you. 2 But I beg you that when I am present I may not be bold with that confidence by which I intend to be bold against some, who think of us as if we walked according to the flesh.”
After that, each subsequent verse has built upon the thought. He was perceived as being “bold” when he wrote his letters, but when he was present they perceived him as “lowly.” They made the assumption from this that his letters were only a facade with no substance behind them. Rather however, when he was present he attempted to be meek and gentle, emulating Christ.
He lets them now know that when it becomes necessary for him to show his boldness, he would not object to do so. In order to show them that this was the case, he begins this verse with, “Let such a person consider this.” It is a way of introducing his next words, asking for sober consideration of them. And the thought to be presented is “that we are in word by letters when we are absent, such we will also be in deed when we are present.”
Translators insert a few words for clarity here. Instead of “such we will also be” it should read “such we are.” The reason is that if Paul intended it to be in the future tense, he would have expressed the verb. As he did not, it implies that it is in the present tense. The character of the person in the letters is the same as the character of the person at all times. It didn’t matter if he and the other apostles were present or absent, they were consistent in their deeds and actions.
Life application: The Bible is God’s word to us. It reflects who He is, and Jesus is the One who reveals Him. He is the subject of our being able to comprehend who God is. His word while He is absent reflects who He will be when He is again present. Therefore, though He is loving, as His word describes Him, He is also just, righteous, and holy. He will not spare those who reject Him. What is your impression of Jesus? The only way to know how He will treat you is to know His word and what it expects of you. Don’t believe the lie that He is not in Person who He is in His word.
Heavenly Father, You have given us Your word to know and understand Jesus. And yet, we seem to pick and choose the Jesus we want to know. We accept the words which tell us of His gentle, meek, and loving side, but we often fail to accept the words which tell of His righteousness, holiness, and that He is coming again to judge the world for rejecting Him. How can we have a right impression of our Lord unless we consider the whole counsel of the word which reveals Him? Help us to be faithful to Your superior word – all of it. Amen.