Friday, 24 July 2015
For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 2 Corinthians 4:11
This is a restatement and expansion upon the previous verse. Taken together, they read –
“…always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.”
Paul has, in these two verses, mentioned Jesus four times by name. The repetition of the name, instead of using a pronoun, highlights the honor he feels towards the Lord. In this verse he says, “For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake.” The contrast between “life” and “death” is highlighted.
The apostles lived for Christ, telling others of Him and sharing the good news everywhere. But during this, they were constantly subjected to the possibility of death. And eventually, a death for the sake of His name became a reality for most of them. In this life in the face of death, the result was “that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.”
Here Paul substitutes “body” of the previous verse for “mortal flesh.” This was done to highlight the corrupt nature of the body. Not yet being glorified, we are subject to pains, decay, and death. And yet, it highlights the life of Jesus all the more poignantly. His divine nature is seen through our corruptible bodies, and the hope of the resurrection is seen in the fact that we are dying. As the Bible scholar Alford says –
“God exhibits DEATH in the living that He may also exhibit LIFE in the dying.”
Life application: If you know someone with a terminal disease who exalts Christ Jesus through their affliction, then this verse may be more understandable. Jesus is manifest through the ending of their life; in their death is the assurance of fellowship with God through it all, including the coming resurrection unto eternal life.
Glorious God! I don’t look forward to aging, falling apart, and having pains and difficulties in this mortal body. However, if I can be a testimony to the life of Jesus through my dying, and if I can give the devil a black eye in the process, then I will count whatever comes my way as an honor. Let my life, even in its corrupt state, be a witness to the glory of my Lord! Amen.