Wednesday, 9 December 2015
For you put up with fools gladly, since you yourselves are wise! 2 Corinthians 11:19
The words of this verse are parallel to those of 2 Corinthians 4:10 –
“We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ!”
However, the words here contain far more irony, ranking as the epitome of Paul’s sarcastic attempts to instill reason into the Corinthians. “For you put up with fools gladly” is Paul’s way of calling himself a fool. This is based on the previous verse. Taken together, they read, “Seeing that many boast according to the flesh, I also will boast. For you put up with fools gladly.”
In essence, he is saying that his boasting is a foolish attempt to get them to recognize his status according to a fleshly nature. If that is what impresses them, then he will break down his fleshly achievements, proving that he is the cream of the crop in worldly attainments. In so doing this, they will have to put up with great foolishness!
In contrast to this are his scathingly sarcastic words, “…since you yourselves are wise!” This shows that their “wisdom” is to bear with foolishness. It is a contradiction that he is openly highlighting to show how silly it is that they would put up with the boasting of the false apostles. In his words here and to follow, it is Paul’s intent to show them that the flesh and the ways of the world mean nothing. Instead, all that matters is Christ and His gospel.
Life application: As soon as we elevate a teacher, a preacher, or a TV evangelist to any level of importance, we actually tread into dangerous waters. Who is it that we are following: a person or the message? If the message, then the person should not be elevated. If he is, then the message, either sound or false, becomes a secondary issue.
Lord God, Heavenly Father – Grant us the wisdom to think clearly and correctly about matters of faith. Help us to not get caught up in the idolizing of personalities who teach the Bible, but to keep our allegiance to You pure and undefiled. If we get excited about an individual, then if his message is wrong, we may miss the error in it. Instead, help us to follow Your word alone. Remind us daily that doctrine matters and that all else is secondary. Amen.