Sunday, 10 January 2016
I urged Titus, and sent our brother with him. Did Titus take advantage of you? Did we not walk in the same spirit? Did we not walk in the same steps? 2 Corinthians 12:18
This is probably not referring to the upcoming visit recorded in 2 Corinthians 8 (although some scholars claim that it is, saying that he is writing in an “already-done” manner). Instead, this is probably referring to Titus’ earlier visit to them.
Concerning that visit, Paul asks them to reflect on his behavior while there. He had come with “our brother,” meaning someone well known to them who could then substantiate to the character and demeanor of Titus. The KJV incorrectly says “a brother,” not acknowledging the article which precedes “brother.” Even the “our” of the NKJV is vague. The article (lit. “the brother”) conveys the meaning “our mutual brother.” The definite nature of the person is highlighted to show that he could be checked with for a confirmation of the conduct of Titus at any time.
To draw out a defense of how Titus actually conducted himself, he asks, “Did Titus take advantage of you?” The question is rhetorical. Paul knows very well he didn’t and they will have no other response to it than, “No.” Titus certainly never did a thing while among them that could be considered in this light.
Continuing on and still in defense of Titus, he asks two more rhetorical questions, “Did we not walk in the same spirit? Did we not walk in the same steps?” The answer to both will be in the affirmative. Just as Paul had conducted himself before those at Corinth, so did Titus when he was there with them. Both Paul and Titus had maintained the highest level of integrity before them. Therefore, Paul is asking them to consider the false apostles’ accusations from that light.
Where had they done wrong? Where had they offended? Where was their manipulation of the Corinthians? None could be found!
Life application: Paul wisely chose a brother who was known to both parties when he sent Titus to Corinth. In so doing, he could act as an impartial witness to what occurred if there was ever a need to do so. Such forethought can, at any later time, prove that all was done in an above-board manner. Let us remember this type of action in case we ever find ourselves dealing with a similar sensitive matter.
Precious Lord! It is a new day filled with hope and possibility. I wonder what will come my way. If good things and abundant blessings are to be realized, then give me the wisdom to thank You for them as they come. And if difficulties, loss, or heartache come my way, give me the ability to continue to praise You through the storm. Is my gratitude to You conditional upon only good times and blessings? May it never be so! Help me to be a faithful follower of You no matter what comes my way. Amen.