Useful Bible Studies > 2 Corinthians Commentary > chapter 11

Paul too will speak proudly Ė but only about his weakness

2 Corinthians 11:21

The people who wanted to lead Corinthís church dared to speak boldly about themselves. So, Paul dares to do that, too. He considers it foolish to speak like that. However, he does it in order to show how foolish it is.

Those people spoke like that in order to show their greatness. Paul does it to show his weakness. That makes his list of the things that he achieved very strange. He leaves out anything that might cause people to give honour to him. He wants his readers to see how great God is. God is so great that he works through a man like Paul. Therefore, all honour should go to God for Paulís work.

So, Paul begins with his family history*. He does not mention the fact that he had the honour to be born as a citizen of Rome*. Nor does he refer to his education * or his importance before he became a Christian*.

Next, Paul writes about his work to serve Christ*. Perhaps Paul could tell us how many peopleís lives God changed because of his (Paulís) work*. He could describe how powerfully God acted on his behalf*. Instead, Paul only records his troubles. He does not even mention the many churches that he established. He only mentions the strain that they caused him*.

Paulís final subject is the wonderful things that God shows to his people*. He does not record how Christ appeared to him on the road to Damascus*. Nor does he record how Christ - and not any man - taught the gospel (Godís good news) to him*. Instead, Paul expresses pride in what God showed to another man, but not to Paul himself. Then Paul tells of how God promised him strength for his weakness.

So, in the end, Paul expresses pride in his weakness. That is because, in Paulís weak state, Christís power could work through him*.

Next part: Paul is a Jew (11:22)


* See complete article for these Bible references.

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© 2016, Keith Simons.