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Dave Burnette's Commentary

2 Corinthians Chapter 12 

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Paul
Date Penned: (55-57 AD)
Overview: Paul Addresses the Church (c 1-13)
Theme: Paul Defends His Authority (c 10-13)
Message: Paul'sThorn in the Flesh (v 1-21)

2 Corinthians 12 Commentary

(12:1-10) Paul's Vision and His Thorn in the Flesh - God had granted Paul a vision of the highest heaven. Paul had heard words that couldn’t be repeated and had seen sights that couldn’t be recounted. But because of this experience, God had given him a “thorn”—a weakness that continually reminded him of his utter dependence on God. Paul had experienced what others would never experience in this life. Instead of being able to boast about it, Paul had to suffer because of it.

(12:11-21) Paul's Concern for the Corinthians - Toward the end of 2 Corinthians, Paul begins to sound like a father who is profoundly disappointed in his children. Paul was disappointed that the Corinthians hadn’t defended him when others had maligned his reputation (12:11-12). He was disappointed that they were questioning his motives (12:16-18). He was disappointed that they hadn’t shown him the same kind of love he had showered on them (12:15). Paul was planning to visit Corinth, but he was clearly apprehensive about it. Would he find all kinds of disorders, just as if the Corinthians were his children running wild? Would he find them arguing and fighting (12:20)? Paul hoped that everything would be in order; then he could congratulate the Corinthians instead of disciplining them.


Dave Burnette's Life Application

Glory in Mine Infirmities

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of 2nd Corinthians with Chapter 12 and in our text we see Paul's concern for the Corinthians as he shares his vision and His thorn in the flesh. He goes on to thank the Lord for his infirmity as it humbles him and keeps him dependent on the Lord. In making application we see that the Lord may allow us to have a thorn in the flesh to keep us humble and dependent on Him. How about you? Has the Lord given you a thorn in your flesh? Let us learn from our text today and the life of Paul to see that we too can "Glory in mine infirmities" knowing that the Lord works all things together for good and our infirmities keep up humbled, balanced, and dependent on the Lord allowing us to love and serve Him in a deeper way.


2 Corinthians 12

2 Corinthians 12

 1It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.

 2I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.

 3And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)

 4How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

 5Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.

 6For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.

 7And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

 8For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.

 9And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

 10Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

 11I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing.

 12Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.

 13For what is it wherein ye were inferior to other churches, except it be that I myself was not burdensome to you? forgive me this wrong.

 14Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.

 15And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.

 16But be it so, I did not burden you: nevertheless, being crafty, I caught you with guile.

 17Did I make a gain of you by any of them whom I sent unto you?

 18I desired Titus, and with him I sent a brother. Did Titus make a gain of you? walked we not in the same spirit? walked we not in the same steps?

 19Again, think ye that we excuse ourselves unto you? we speak before God in Christ: but we do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying.

 20For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults:

 21And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.