Day 131~ 2 Cor. 9-10~ To the Rebellious Minority and the Faithful
Today’s reading got me thinking that those Corinthian people didn’t seem to know Paul very well. So, to jog my memory, I went back to Acts to see how he got to know the people and establish the Corinthian church
Acts 18 says Paul started to preach in the synagogue in Corinth. You may remember that it didn’t go well, so he went next door to the house of Titius Justus, preaching to the people from there. He ended up staying in Corinth 1 1/2 years!! That’s plenty of time to get to know someone! Although, I don’t think it was an easy year with the Jews right next door…Paul ended up leaving Corinth after an unsavory attack by a Jew named Gallio (Acts 18:12).
Shortly after Paul left, Apollos, arrived in Corinth. With his fervent spirit he “powerfully refuted the Jews” (Acts 18:28) which helped the believers immensely! In addition, Paul sent Timothy and Erastus to check up on the Corinthians before he visited them again. Yet, when Paul came back for a second visit, staying three months, his visit ended once again by the Jews plotting against him (20:3). Obviously there was a big spiritual battle for the souls in Corinth! It wasn’t that the Corinthian people didn’t know Paul well, it was that some were starting to rebel against his teaching when they heard other divisive teachers (10:12).
So, now as Paul addresses the church in Corinth, he is addressing a diverse group. Some who have a devout faith in God (the ones ready to give the money gift- vs. 9:2), and some who are seriously questioning everything about Paul (those holding the strongholds against Paul-vs10:4-5). My commentary calls the doubters , the ‘rebellious minority’.
Paul takes the time, in this letter, to defend himself because he is defending the Lord.
My commentary puts it this way, “Paul sees a close tie between the Corinthian’s acceptance of his apostleship and the genuineness of their faith. To reject Paul and his proclamation is to reject Christ himself, since Paul’s message, ministry, and manner of life are one.”
I get exhausted just thinking about the work Paul had in front of him dealing with opposition on every level, Jews outside the church and “believers” inside the church. Praise the Lord that He gave Paul a heart of devotion to his converts, taking the time to continue corresponding with them even after he moved on to new territory. I wonder if he ever imagined his letters would last 2000 years; still talking to both the devout and the rebellious…..