2 Corinthians 12 GOD'S WORD® Translation Apostle Paul Wants To Brag On Other Christian Situations And Only His That Show His Weakness 1I must brag, although it doesn't do any good. I'll go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. 2I know a follower of Christ who was snatched away to the third heaven [The Bible does not reference this specific event, but the “heavens” in the Bible refers to the atmosphere, the outer-space, and the Heaven as we know of it, or the 3rd Heaven..] fourteen years ago. I don't know whether this happened to him physically or spiritually. Only God knows. 3I know that this person 4was snatched away to paradise where he heard things that can't be expressed in words, things that humans cannot put into words. I don't know whether this happened to him physically or spiritually. Only God knows. 5I'll brag about this person, but I won't brag about myself unless it's about my weaknesses. 6If I ever wanted to brag, I wouldn't be a fool. Instead, I would be telling the truth.
Apostle Paul Discloses A Weakness Of His That The Devil Keeps Attacking But I'm going to spare you so that no one may think more of me than what he sees or hears about me, 7especially because of the excessive number of revelations that I've had. Therefore, to keep me from becoming conceited, [perhaps one of Paul’s weaknesses was becoming conceited] I am forced to deal with a recurring problem. That problem, Satan's messenger, torments me to keep me from being conceited.
Paul Asked God To Remove This Weakness Three Times But Keeping This Weakness Shows How Strong God Is Through Him 8I begged the Lord three times to take it away from me. 9But He told me: "My kindness is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak." So I will brag even more about my weaknesses in order that Christ's power will live in me. 10Therefore, I accept weakness, mistreatment, hardship, persecution, and difficulties suffered for Christ. It's clear that when I'm weak, I'm strong.
Paul States He Is An Apostle And He Has Never Taken Funds From The Corinthians 11I have become a fool. You forced me to be one. [he had to become a fool in the letter by bragging in order to prove his point.] You should have recommended me to others. Even if I'm nothing, I wasn't inferior in any way to your super-apostles. 12While I was among you I patiently did the signs, wonders, and miracles which prove that I'm an apostle.13How were you treated worse than the other churches, except that I didn't bother you for help? Forgive me for this wrong! [Paul is being sarcastic in his apology for not taking money from them.]
Paul Is Ready To Visit Them A Third Time And Again Give His Whole Self For Their Gain 14I'm ready to visit you for a third time, and I won't bother you for help. I don't want your possessions. Instead, I want you. Children shouldn't have to provide for their parents, but parents should provide for their children. 15I will be very glad to spend whatever I have. I'll even give myself for you. [Paul considers this Church like one of his own children if he had children]
Paul Asks Several Questions To Show His Sincerity From The Previous Visits 1. Do you love me less because I love you so much? [No] a. 16You agree, then, that I haven't been a burden to you. [Correct] 2. Was I a clever person who trapped you by some trick? [No] 3. 17Did I take advantage of you through any of the men I sent you? [No] a. 18I encouraged Titus to visit you, and I sent my friend with him. [Correct] 4. Did Titus take advantage of you? [No] 5. Didn't we have the same motives and do things the same way? [Yes] 6. 19Have you been thinking all along that we're trying to defend ourselves to you? [No]
Paul Is Concerned About How He May Find Them In HIs Next Visit And If They Have Repented We speak as Christ's people in God's sight. Everything we do, dear friends, is for your benefit. 20I'm afraid that I may come and find you different from what I want you to be, and that you may find me different from what you want me to be. I'm afraid that there may be rivalry, jealousy, hot tempers, selfish ambition, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorderly conduct. 21I'm afraid that when I come to you again, my God may humble me. I may have to grieve over many who formerly led sinful lives and have not changed the way they think and act about the perversion, sexual sins, and promiscuity in which they have been involved. [Paul is very worried about how he will find the members of the church and what state they will be in still living in sinful ways perhaps. This will humble Paul when he is wanting to brag about their progress to others.]
● Apostle Paul Wants To Brag On Other Christian Situations And Only His That Show His Weakness ● Apostle Paul Discloses A Weakness Of His That The Devil Keeps Attacking ● Paul Asked God To Remove This Weakness Three Times But Keeping This Weakness Shows How Strong God Is Through Him ● Paul States He Is An Apostle And He Has Never Taken Funds From The Corinthians ● Paul Is Ready To Visit Them A Third Time And Again Give His Whole Self For Their Gain ● Paul Asks Several Questions To Show His Sincerity From The Previous Visits ● Paul Is Concerned About How He May Find Them In HIs Next Visit And If They Have Repented