Sunday, 6 December 2015
I say again, let no one think me a fool. If otherwise, at least receive me as a fool, that I also may boast a little. 2 Corinthians 11:16
Paul has already diverted into a need for boasting on several occasions. He did so in 2 Corinthians 10:8, and he again did so in verse 1 of this chapter, of which this statement is a general repeat of that thought, hence the words “I say again.” In verse 1, he said –
“Oh, that you would bear with me in a little folly—and indeed you do bear with me.”
The words, “I say again, let no one think me a fool” are given concerning his boasting. Even if he commends himself, it should not be thought of as a fool’s boasting, but as a necessary part of his defense against the false apostles. Continuing on, his words add in sarcasm. He says, “If otherwise, at least receive me as a fool.” In other words, “If boasting makes me a fool, then receive me as a fool, so “that I also may boast a little.”
The words “a little” show that he is asking for their tolerance in his minimal boasting, and in things that are true about himself. This is to be taken as sarcastically contrasting a great and untruthful boasting of the false apostles. In essence, “You have put up with a lot of foolish and false boasting by those ‘extra-super apostles,’ and so please put up with just a dab of truthful boasting from me.”
He is not claiming that he is a fool for boasting, but if that is how he is perceived in order to defend his apostleship, then so be it.
Life application: Paul goes to great lengths to defend the truth of the gospel. It is a good lesson for us to follow through with as well. And yet, there is a time when we have to step back, shake the dust off our feet, and move on. Be patient, be kind, and be firm. Speak the truth in season and out.
Lord God, help us in our faith. Help us to be firm and unyielding in the truths which are taught in Your word and to never give in to the forces of immorality, perversion, and wickedness all around us. If our leaders, both in government and in the apostate church, want to use a diving board to jump into hell, as it seems they intend to do, it is certain that they will attempt to weaken our faith as well. May it not be so! Keep us on the straight and narrow path to You. Help us to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and our actions in line with Your word. Amen.