Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians

Chapter 12

For commending of his apostleship, though he might glory of his wonderful revelations, 1-8, yet Paul rather chooses to glory in his infirmities, 9, 10; blaming them for forcing him to this vain boasting, 11-13. He promises to come to them again; but yet altogether in the affection of a father, 14-19; although he fears he shall to his grief find many offenders and public disorders there, 20, 21.

1 It is doubtless not expedient for me to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2 I knew a man in Christ fourteen years ago (whether in the body I cannot tell, or whether out of the body I cannot tell—God knows), such a one was caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I knew such a man (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell—God knows), 4 That he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. 5 Of such a one I will glory, yet of myself I will not glory, except in my infirmities. 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 sees me to be, or what he hears from me.

7 And 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. 8 For this thing I implored the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore, most gladly I will so much the more glory in my infirmities so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore, I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in hardships, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

11 I have become a fool in glorying. You have compelled me. For I ought to have been commended by you, for in no way am I inferior to the very greatest apostles, though I am nothing. 12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, wonders, and mighty deeds. 13 For what is that in which you were inferior to other churches, except that I myself was not burdensome to you? Forgive me this wrong.

14 Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you and I will not be burdensome to you, for I do not seek what is yours, but you. For the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children. 15 And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you, though the more abundantly I love you, the less I am loved. 16 But be it so, I did not burden you. Nevertheless, being crafty, I caught you with guile. 17 Did I make a gain of you by any of those whom I sent to you? 18 I desired Titus and with him I sent a brother. Did Titus make a gain of you? Did we not walk in the same spirit? Did we not walk in the same steps?

19 Again, do you think that we excuse ourselves to you? We speak before God in Christ. And we do all things, dearly beloved, for your edification. 20 For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I wish, and that I shall be found by you such as you do not wish, lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, conceits, tumults, 21 And lest, when I come again, my God may humble me among you, and I shall bewail many who have sinned already and have not repented of the uncleanness, lewdness, and lasciviousness which they have committed.


Matthew Henry Commentary - 2nd Corinthians, Chapter 12[➚]


[v.9a] - Reference, 2nd Corinthians 3:5.

[v.9b] - "My weakness" - This is a quote of Christ as told by Paul; therefore, it is not colored blue.