Monday, 30 January 2017
…though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: Philippians 3:4
The Greek literally reads, “…even though myself having confidence.” The English translation gives the correct sense based on his later words, but at the moment, he is placing himself on the same level with the Jews and comparing himself against them. In essence, “You Jews have confidence in the flesh, well so do I!” Again, he really does not, but for the intent of what he will say to them, he is calling to mind that he is not less than them in what could be boasted on.
If he were to boast like others, it would be of his human nature of which he will give a detailed description in the coming verses. And so to bolster his certain ability to boast, he continues with, “If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so…” He is setting up the “mutilation” of verse 2 (meaning those Jews who circumcise the flesh, but not the heart) for a fall. He would not begin an argument unless he was certain he could prevail in it.
Paul’s “more so” will be an astonishing resume of lineage and learning which will place him at the very top of Hebrew society. Yay for Paul! But is this what life is about? Instead, he will eventually come around to showing just what those things mean in comparison to having Christ.
Life application: What thing in your life do you think you have a right to boast in? Do you have a nice house? Do you have a lot of money? Are you handsome or beautiful? Do you have a remarkable genealogy that includes kings and zillionaries? What is it that you feel is the most valuable part of who you are? If you say anything other than “Jesus Christ,” you have your priorities completely out of whack.
Lord God, help us to consider what is of value in our lives? Our money? A big house? Fame, beauty, or color of skin? Are we proud of our genealogy? Are we confident in the position we have in our job? All of these things are temporary and pointless, aren’t they? Unless we say, “Jesus Christ is the most important part of my life!”, we have priorities that are futile and which will die with us. But in Christ, there is the greatest of honor and blessing. Help us to think rightly, and to live our lives in accord with our relationship to Jesus. Amen.