Saturday, 31 May 2014
Now some are puffed up, as though I were not coming to you. 1 Corinthians 4:18
In the previous verse, Paul noted that he was sending Timothy to those in Corinth for a reminder of his consistent message which he teaches everywhere he goes. Having said this, he already knows that “some are puffed up.” The idea, as noted previously, is that of pride. When yeast is put into dough, it causes the bread to rise, thus picturing being prideful, full of boasting, or arrogant. And some translations do use the term “arrogant,” but by doing this, the imagery is lost. It will be more especially the case as Paul will use the example of dough puffing up in chapter 5.
He then notes the reason for some being puffed up by saying it is “as though I were not coming to you.” Those who were involved in these divisions and who took the side of Apollos would certainly say, “See, he’s afraid to come himself and so he’s sending Timothy instead of coming personally.” It would then be a poke in the eye to those who claimed Paul was their man. And thus, the divisions would continue. This is why he has preempted them in his letter with this statement. He in fact has plans already to come to Corinth, but there were also other things on his plate before he could. This will be explained to them at the end of the letter in chapter 16 –
“Now I will come to you when I pass through Macedonia (for I am passing through Macedonia). And it may be that I will remain, or even spend the winter with you, that you may send me on my journey, wherever I go. For I do not wish to see you now on the way; but I hope to stay a while with you, if the Lord permits. But I will tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost. For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.” 1 Corinthians 16:5-9
Life application: An effective way of dispelling problems is to think in advance what other issues may arise and then preempt them with words of surety about the resolution to those issues. In doing this, it may completely alleviate the necessity to fix a problem that otherwise could have been avoided.
Wonderful Creator – my Lord and my God. Thank you for the unimaginable beauty you’ve given to us in this world – from sandy beaches and high mountain peaks, to trees of immense wonder and animals with such splendid diversity. There are a thousand shades of color when I look in any direction and there are tastes which delight my tongue. The smells of nature often overwhelm me with joy. Sometimes, it’s more than I can contemplate. Thank You for every wonderful blessing of life. Amen.