Sunday, 11 October 2015
For he not only accepted the exhortation, but being more diligent, he went to you of his own accord.
2 Corinthians 8:17
It needs to be noted that Paul hasn’t yet finished the letter he is writing, and it has not yet been received or read by the Corinthians. And yet, he is writing as if the thing mentioned is accomplished by using the words “accepted” and “went.” This is known as an epistolary aorist. His words are intended to reflect the state of things as the letter is read, and thus his thoughts encompass what has not yet transpired.
In this, he says that Titus “not only accepted the exhortation…” This indicates that Paul had put forth the idea that Titus would be the one to return to Corinth with the letter. Titus heard Paul’s words and responded to them, but there was more. He now says, “…but being more diligent, he went to you of his own accord.”
It is as if Titus heard Paul and then said, “I had already planned on going!” This explains the words of the previous verse which said, “…thanks be to God who puts the same earnest care for you into the heart of Titus.” He wasn’t just willing to go because he was asked. Instead, he was willing to go because his heart was turned towards the Corinthians in brotherly love.
The words in this verse then are intended to show the church at Corinth that Titus was both sanctioned by Paul and that he was already willing and eager to go. It is a touching note concerning Titus’ zeal for the church there.
Life application: If someone is willing to accomplish a task for you or for your church, it is good to send along a note of approval which can say, “I vouch for the sincerity of this person. He wanted to help and I fully support him in this matter.” In doing so, it may be just what is needed to ensure that the person is accepted by those he is going to visit.
Lord, a fish needs water to swim in, and there is water. Squirrels need acorns to eat, and You provide them in abundance. Trees need soil to cling to and grow, and it is there for them. Every need which is instilled in life has something which can fulfill it. Me… I have a need for You. It permeates my very soul, calling out for You. This need exists and You are there to fulfill it. Thank You for Your presence in my life. I am filled to overflowing. Amen.