Boasting in Weakness

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Key Bible Verse: So as you can see, if I have to boast, I will, but only in my own weaknesses. (2 Corinthians 11:30)

Dig Deeper: 

The apostle Paul was smart. He had risen to great power in the Jewish hierarchy in Jerusalem — a feat achieved only by people with extraordinary mental acumen. He was also a major persecutor of the early church, and he carried out his role with great zeal.

Then the resurrected Jesus appeared to Paul. He was chosen specifically to be one of Jesus’ apostles. God used his great mind. Eventually he wrote two-thirds of the books in the New Testament. He must also have had amazing physical stamina, as evidenced by his long missionary journeys. If anyone could boast in his own strength, Paul could.

Yet in a debate with the false teachers in Corinth about his apostolic authority; he recounted his experiences that had made him weak (see today’s Dig Deeper), [saying,] “If I must boast, I would rather boast about the things that show how weak I am” (v. 30).

If anyone had a reason to boast, it was he, especially after his supernatural experience [described in 2 Corinthians 12:1-4]. From verse 5 onward, Paul said, in essence: “That experience is something worth boasting about, but I am not going to do it. I don’t want anyone to think more highly of me than what they can actually see in my life and message.”

– David Chadwick in From Superficial to Significant

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