We think that Paul was very polite with the Christians in Corinth. He did not want to upset their feelings. More than a year earlier, they had decided to give a large gift to help the poor Christians in Judea. Paul gave them instructions about how they should collect that gift*.
We do not know whether they followed those instructions immediately. However, more recently, Titus had begun to collect that gift*. Now Paul was sending Titus back to Corinth, with two other men, to collect the rest of the gift.
Paul did not intend by this arrangement to put any pressure on Corinth’s Christians. In fact, he intended the opposite. They had promised to give, and Paul had told Macedonia’s Christians about their promise. Corinth’s Christians would feel very ashamed if, on Paul’s arrival, their gift was still not ready.
Paul cared about that. He wanted Corinth’s Christians to give with glad hearts, and not from any sense of shame*. It is a great honour when we are able to give for the work of God. We should give as an expression of thanks for the good things that God has done for us. Jesus taught that it is better to give than to receive*. Therefore, we should always give with joy. Our gifts express our love*.
So, Titus and the other men would go to Corinth ahead of Paul. They were not going there to demand gifts from anyone. Rather, they would simply collect the money that Corinth’s Christians had freely chosen to give. Then, they would keep everyone’s gift safe until the arrangements were complete to take it to Judea.
Next part: Christian gifts are a blessing (9:5)
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.