Paul continues to describe his experiences as he served Christ. Most of verse 26 is about his journeys and their dangers.
It is difficult for us today to understand how dangerous travel was in the ancient world. Although Paul could ride a horse*, he probably usually walked between towns. It would often be necessary for him to cross rivers and streams. There were few bridges. People usually paid a local guide to show them a shallow place where they could get across the water. However, rivers become deeper after rain, and the safest places were not often easy to find.
Large groups of robbers often controlled the open areas between towns. They often attacked and killed people. Jesusí description of such an attack* would have been very familiar to everyone.
Paul was no safer at home than he was when abroad. Crowds of people would attack him in the city; robbers would attack him in the open country. There seemed no escape. Paul could only avoid such dangers at sea. However, as verse 25 says, Paul was in constant danger at sea, too.
Paul could not even trust those people who claimed to be Christians. Perhaps they too were robbers, who wanted to gain his confidence. Perhaps it was a plan to hand him over to his enemies. Sometimes people wanted power in the spirit world *. Sometimes they wanted a more natural kind of power: to gain control over the Christians. The people who were doing that in Corinth* probably wanted to gain importance, wealth and honour from the Christians. So those people lied about their own relationship with Christ*.
Next part: Paulís weakness (11:27)
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.