Useful Bible Studies > 2 Corinthians Commentary > chapter 11

Paulís troubles: cruelty from people, danger at sea

2 Corinthians 11:25

Paul continues to record how much he had suffered as a servant of Christ. It is a difficult and painful passage - even for us, as we merely read it. Paul was not popular, and very many people did not respect him. They hated him and his message. They considered that he deserved nothing but cruelty.

Paulís message was for people from every nation, and people from many different nations attacked him. He has mentioned his own people, the Jews, in verse 24; he will mention the Gentiles (people who are not Jews) in verse 26.

The Book of Acts mentions only a few of the experiences that Paul mentions here. However, we do have a record of the event when people threw stones at Paul. That happened in Lystra*. There, both Jews and Gentiles were in the crowd that attacked Paul. They almost killed him; in fact, everyone thought that he had died. Afterwards, a group of Christians gathered round Paulís body, perhaps to pray, or perhaps to bury him. That was when God gave Paul the strength to get up again.

It was not just people who put Paulís life in danger. He suffered similarly from storms at sea. We could refer to Paulís frequent journeys here; to travel by sea was not safe or easy. However, people believed that storms at sea were often the work of evil spirits. Perhaps Paul was saying that evil spirits, as well as people, wanted to kill him.

On three occasions, storms had destroyed the boats in which Paul was travelling. Once, Paul floated on wood from a boat for a day and a night before he reached a safe place. All these events happened before the experience that Acts chapter 27 records.

Next part: The dangers of Paulís journeys (11:26)

 

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© 2016, Keith Simons.