30 Aug. 2 Corinthians 11:16-33

30 Aug. Paul talks about his sufferings for Christ

“I tell you again: no one should think that I am a fool. But if you think so, accept me as you would a fool. Then I can boast a little, too. When I boast because I feel sure of myself. I am not talking as the Lord would talk but as a fool…”

“But if anyone else is brave enough to boast, then I will also be brave and boast. (I am talking as a fool.) Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they from Abraham’s family? So am I. Are they serving Christ? I am serving him more. (I am mad to talk like this.) I have worked much harder than they.”

“I have been in prison more often. I have been hurt more in beatings. I have been near death many times. Five times the Jews have given me their punishment of 39 lashes with a whip. Three different times I was beaten with rods. One time I was almost stoned to death.”

“Three times I was in ships that were wrecked, and one of those times I spent a night and a day in the sea. I have gone on many travels and have been in danger from rivers, thieves, my own people, the Jews and those who are not Jews.”

“I have been in danger in cities, in places where no one lives and on the sea. And I have been in danger with false Christians. I have done hard and tiring work, and many times I did not sleep. I have been hungry and thirsty, and many times I have been without food. I have been cold and without clothes.”

“Besides all this, there is on me every day the load of my concern for all the churches. I feel weak every time someone is weak, and I feel upset every time someone is led into sin...”

“When I was in Damascus, the governor under King Aretas [of Arabia Petrea] wanted to arrest me, so he put guards around the city. But my friends lowered me in a basket through a hole in the city wall. So I escaped from the governor.” [see Acts 9:23-25]

          (2 Corinthians 11:16-33)



Paul suffered greatly by carrying the Good News of Jesus Christ to both the Jews and the Gentiles. To the Jews, his message that Jesus was God’s ‘anointed one’ was often regarded as blasphemy, while to the Greeks, the idea of a crucified God in human form was quite unthinkable. While some of Paul’s imprisonments and beatings are described in Luke’s account of the Acts of the Apostles, there are clearly other painful incidents that are not recorded there. Some of these are spoken of in Paul’s letters.

In 2 Corinthians 11:24-33, we’re told that Paul was given the thirty-nine lashes five times by the Jews (see Deuteronomy 25:3). Three times he was beaten with rods by the Romans – although he was a Roman citizen who should not have been beaten without a fair trial (see Acts 16:22-23). He was shipwrecked three times and had been stoned and left for dead (see Acts 14:19). Paul reminds the believers in Corinth how he had to flee for his life from Damascus (see Acts 9:23-25).

As Paul wrote this letter in Philippi in 56AD during his third missionary journey, it is interesting to speculate where Paul was shipwrecked three times before his shipwreck off Malta while on his way to Rome in 59AD. Perhaps his survival in three previous shipwrecks helps to explain Paul’s confidence that God would rescue all 276 passengers from the shipwreck off Malta (see Acts 27:33-37).

The photo shows the coast of Malta where Paul was shipwrecked on his way to Rome.

You can read more from Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/paul-defends-himself-aga…/

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