Paul is comparing himself with the men who wanted to control the church at Corinth. He next asks whether they are servants of Christ. If not, then they are not genuine Christians and they should not lead any church.
Of course they claimed to be servants of Christ. Paul has already shown that he does not believe it (verses 13-15). Therefore, Paul cannot reply, as in verse 22, that he is the same as them. So instead he replies that he is more of a servant of Christ than them.
Paul clearly does not like this kind of language. Either a person serves God or he serves the devil*. No servant of Christ has the right to consider himself greater than any other servant of Christ. Only God can make such judgements.
However, Paul knew that he had worked harder for Christ than anyone else*. Certainly, he served Christ better than the men who wanted to lead Corinth’s church. Paul worked constantly. He did not just speak with people about Christ; he also carried out hard physical work*.
Paul also suffered much more than other people did. It would be interesting to know the opinions of the men who wanted to lead Corinth’s church, about that. Perhaps they would have been proud to tell of such an adventure. Or perhaps they would have felt ashamed.
Paul suffered because he was serving Christ loyally. He did not even try to count how often he had been in prison. It is interesting to see that the Book of Acts records only one occasion until this time*. Clearly, there were many more, which the Book of Acts does not record. Nor does it record all the occasions when people beat Paul. We will find out more about those experiences in verses 24 and 25.
Next part: The punishments that Paul suffered (11:24)
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.