Wednesday, 6 January 2016
Now for the third time I am ready to come to you. And I will not be burdensome to you; for I do not seek yours, but you. For the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.
2 Corinthians 12:14
Scholars generally agree that this isn’t speaking of the third actual visit, but that he had intended to come a second time and was thwarted. This is now the third time he is “ready” to come to them. Or, others disagree and feel that he simply had an unrecorded visit to Corinth. Either way, it is Paul’s express intent to visit them when he arrives. And when he does, he plans to conduct himself in the same manner as he always had by stating that “I will not be burdensome to you.”
This is one of the things they had found fault in him for. But he has carefully and methodically explained to them why he has been no burden on them and why that would continue. It is because, as he says, “I do not seek yours, but you.” He cared nothing about their property or their wealth, but them. He wanted the people at Corinth to be saved and then to grow in proper doctrine; not to be led astray by false teachers.
His justification for this is that “the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.” He treated his congregations as his own children. This is implied in his words to Timothy in 1 Timothy 1:2 and to Titus in Titus 1:4. Those he had led to the Lord became his sons in the faith. It can then be inferred that the congregations he had established also were his children in the faith. This verse confirms that.
And because they were, he gave them words which are obvious to all people in all societies. The parents, if they are wise with their resources and labors, will store up their wealth in order to pass it on to their children. Paul felt this was his spiritual obligation for them. He studied Scripture, he pondered the mysteries of Christ, and he worked with his own hands to not burden the congregation at Corinth. In all of this, he laid up for them so that they would be the benefactors of his resources and labors.
Life application: Paul has set a good example for pastors, preachers, priests, and ministers. It is right that the congregations remember those in such positions and take care of them (Galatians 6:6), but it is also true that they should not be burdensome on their congregations. They should be willing to work to supplement their pay if necessary. They should also not burden those under them with things that they can do for themselves. Above all, they should be a blessing in all spiritual matters to those they minister to.
Heavenly Father, how good it is to receive spiritual insights and teachings from our pastors and Bible teachers. Thank you for their diligence in searching out your word and illuminating difficult passages for us to grasp and then apply to our doctrine. And thank You also for the many generations of such men who lived in years gone by. We are the recipients of their accumulated knowledge. Each lover of Your word adds on a bit more knowledge so that we have a clearer picture than ever of the mysteries it contains! How blessed we are! Thank You, O God. Amen.