Paul had been confronting the Judaizers about their boasting in Corinth. He boasted himself, of his infirmities or weaknesses by which he would continue to advance the gospel of Jesus christ through any means made available to him by God almighty.
“1 It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 12:1)
Paul deemed it unwise to boast as the false teachers did in Corinth yet he felt driven to so to defend his faith in Jesus Christ and God inspired mission to preach the gospel to the gentiles. The apostle now reveals the visions and revelations made known onto him by the Lord.
” 2 I 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.” (2 Corinthians 12:2)
Paul makes reference to an event which took place some 14 years earlier, possibly at Antioch around A.D. 42 where the apostle received a vision from the Lord.
The man described in this section is Paul himself, though his reference implies a less boastful third person to be caught up in the third heaven, according to Jewish tradition beyond the first heaven, where air flows and birds fly, then passed the second heaven, where the sun and stars reside.
“3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) 4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.” (2 Corinthians 12:3-4)
Paul describes the third heaven as paradise, where words beyond human comprehension are spoken for God’s glory. the apostle describes his ascending to heaven then being returned to the world in order to fulfill his mission as preacher to the Gentiles.
“5 Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.” (2 Corinthians 12:5)
Again the apostle reminds his readers of his weaknesses and infirmities which he uses to continue advancing the gospel of Jesus Christ through the region. In Christ Paul would boast, for His glory the apostle would endure.
“6 For 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.” (2 Corinthians 12:6)
Paul could very well boast about many things yet he chose to only proclaim the truth about Jesus Christ, increasing the heavenly harvest rather than his own. The apostle understood the consequences in boasting and felt his own pride would be best served if it were weaknesses that were glorified, not self-serving ambition.
Much like Paul we should humble ourselves before the Lord as we continue to serve Him tirelessly. Disciples of Jesus Christ should indeed boast of His sacrifice, and the love bestowed onto us by our divine Father in heaven. Let us pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Paul,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre