Paul’s Sufferings Part 3

2Corinthians 11:29-33 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knows that I lie not. In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me: And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands. 

‘Who is offended, and I burn not.’ The idea here is that no man is offended without Paul burning with zeal to restore him.

‘If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.’ He explained that if he must boast, he will not brag on his natural and acquired powers or what God has done for him, but rather in what he has suffered for Him. Paul stated in 2Corinthians 4:15 that all their sufferings counted as nothing if they could win them and others to Christ.

‘In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me.’ He refers to the events of Acts 9:23-25 where the Jews planned to kill him and the disciples helped him escape.

‘Aretas’ – the father-in-law of Herod Antipas.

Paul’s Sufferings Part 2

2Corinthians 11:22-28 Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I. Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which comes upon me daily, the care of all the churches. 

‘Fool’ [Greek: paraphroneo] to be beside oneself, out of one’s mind (cp. 2Pet. 2:16).

‘Labours more abundant, in stripes above measure.’ Instead of taking it easy in an established congregational group, he laboured to start others. See the list of Paul’s sufferings summarized under 2Corinthians 11:21.

‘Forty stripes save one’ See Deuteronomy 25:3. Jews did not repeat scourgings except for great crimes, but to Christians, they showed no mercy.

‘Thrice was I beaten with rods.’ Romans used rods. Only once is this recorded (Acts 16:22).

‘Once was I stoned’ this happened at Lystra (Acts14:19).

‘Thrice I suffered shipwreck’ – only one is recorded (Acts 27:41 – 28:1).

‘Journeyings often’ at least three great missionary journeys are recorded (Acts 13:1-3; 15:41; 18:23). Most of the other events of 2Corinthians 11:23-27 are not recorded.

‘Without, that which comes upon me daily, the care of all the churches.’ Besides the outward sufferings of 2Corinthians 11:23-27, there are many inward struggles because of conditions in the many congregations that are under Paul’s care.

Paul’s Sufferings Part 1

2Corinthians 11:21  I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also. 

‘I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak.’ Paul refers to these Judaizers reproaching them because they were uncircumcised, and as if they were weak or inferior to them.

‘Bold’ Fifty-five things that Paul could boast of: He was just as bold as they were (11:21); he was a Hebrew as they were (11:22); he was an Israelite as they were (11:22); he was of Abraham as they were (11:22); he was more a minister of Christ than they were (11:23); in more abundant labours (11:23); stripes above measure (11:23); in prisons often for Christ (11:23); often at the point of death (11:23); five times scourged (11:24); three times beaten with rods (11:25); once stoned to death (11:25; Acts 14:19); three times shipwrecked (11:25); twenty-four hours in the sea (11:25); in journeyings often (11:26); in perils of water (11:26); in perils of robbers (11:26); in perils by the Jews (11:26); in perils by the heathen (11:26); in perils in the city (11:26); in perils in the wilderness (11:26); in perils in the sea (11:26); in perils by false brethren (11:26); in weariness and pain (11:27); in watching often (11:27); in hunger and thirst (11:27); in fastings often (11:27); in cold and nakedness (11:27); daily care of all congregations (11:28); strength in God (11:29; 12:10); zeal for the congregations (11:29); many infirmities (11:30; 12:5, 9); absolute truthfulness (11:31; 12:6); miraculous deliverances (11:32-33); boasting was of necessity (12:1); visions and revelations (12:1); translation to heaven (12:2-4); experiences beyond knowledge (12:2-3); hearing unspeakable words (12:5); unlawful knowledge (12:4); freedom from self-glory (12:5); true quitting sense (12:6); genuineness equal to glory (12:6); special persecutions (12:7); answers from God (12:9); resignation to God’s will (12:9); power of Christ upon him (12:9); pleasure in sufferings (12:10); endurance for Christ (12:10); no boasting unless compelled (12:11); equal with chief apostles (12:11); humility in greatness (12:11); signs of apostleship (12:12); unselfishness (12:13-16); his judgment power (12:21; 13:10).