2 Corinthians 12 Commentary


2 CORINTHIANS - PAUL'S MINISTRY IN THE LIGHT OF THE INDESCRIBABLE GIFT
Click chart to enlarge
Charts from Jensen's Survey of the NT - used by permission
Another Chart from Charles Swindoll
A Third Chart 
Overview of
Second Corinthians
2Co 1:1-7:16
Character
of Paul
2Co 8:1-9:15
Collection
for the Saints
2Co 10:1-12:21
Credentials
of Paul
Testimonial & Didactic Practical Apologetic
Past:
Misunderstanding & Explanation
Present:
Practical Project
Future:
Anxieties
Apostle's Conciliation, Ministry & Exhortations Apostle's Solicitation for Judean Saints Apostle's Vindication
of Himself
Forgiveness, Reconciliation
Gratitude
Confidence Vindication

Ephesus to Macedonia:
Change of Itinerary
Explained

Macedonia: Preparation for Visit to Corinth

To Corinth:
Certainty and Imminence
of the Visit

2Co 1:1-7:16

2Co 8:1-9:15

2Co 10:1-12:21

2Corinthians written ~ 56-57AD - see Chronological Table of Paul's Life and Ministry

Adapted & modified from Jensen's Survey of the New Testament (Highly Recommended Resource) & Wilkinson's Talk Thru the Bible


INTRODUCTIONS TO SECOND CORINTHIANS:

2 Corinthians 12:1  Boasting is necessary, though it is not profitable; but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord.

  • expedient: 2Co 8:10 Joh 16:7 18:14 1Co 6:12 10:23 
  • to glory: 2Co 12:11 11:16-30 
  • I will come: Gr. For I will come
  • visions: 2Co 12:7 Nu 12:6 Eze 1:1-28 11:24 Da 10:5-10 Joe 2:28,29 Ac 9:10-17 Ac 18:9 22:17-21 23:11 26:13-19 Ga 1:12 2:2 1Jn 5:20 
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Boasting is necessary, though it is not profitable; but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord

2 Corinthians 12:2  I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago--whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows--such a man was caught up to the third heaven.

  • knew: 2Co 12:3,5 
  • in Christ: 2Co 5:17,21 13:5 Isa 45:24,25 Joh 6:56 15:4-6 17:21-23 Ro 8:1 Ro 16:7 1Co 1:30 Ga 1:22 5:6 
  • above: "A.D 46, at Lystra." Ac 14:6 22:17 
  • in the: 2Co 5:6-8 1Ki 18:12 2Ki 2:16 Eze 8:1-3 11:24 Ac 8:39,40 22:17 Php 1:22,23 Rev 1:10 4:2 
  • God: 2Co 12:3 11:11 
  • caught: 2Co 12:4 Lu 24:51 1Th 4:17 Heb 9:24 Rev 12:5 
  • third: Ge 1:14-20 1Ki 8:27 Isa 57:15 
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I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago--whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows--such a man was caught up to the third heaven

2 Corinthians 12:3  And I know how such a man--whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows--

And I know how such a man--whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows--

2 Corinthians 12:4  was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak.

was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak

2 Corinthians 12:5  On behalf of such a man I will boast; but on my own behalf I will not boast, except in regard to my weaknesses.

On behalf of such a man I will boast; but on my own behalf I will not boast, except in regard to my weaknesses

2 Corinthians 12:6  For if I do wish to boast I will not be foolish, for I will be speaking the truth; but I refrain from this, so that no one will credit me with more than he sees in me or hears from me.

  • I would: 2Co 10:8 11:16 1Co 3:5,9,10 
  • I will: 2Co 1:18 11:31 Job 24:25 Ro 9:1 
  • above that: 2Co 12:7 10:9,10 
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For if I do wish to boast I will not be foolish, for I will be speaking the truth; but I refrain from this, so that no one will credit me with more than he sees in me or hears from me

2 Corinthians 12:7  Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me--to keep me from exalting myself!

  • lest: 2Co 10:5 11:20 De 8:14 17:20 2Ch 26:16 32:25,26,31 Da 5:20 1Ti 3:6 
  • the abundance: 2Co 12:1-4 
  • a thorn: Ge 32:25,31 Jud 2:3 Eze 28:24 Ga 4:13 
  • the messenger: Job 2:7 Lu 13:16 1Co 5:5 
  • to buffet: Mt 26:67 1Co 4:11 
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Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me--to keep me from exalting myself

2 Corinthians 12:8  Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me.

  • I besought: De 3:23-27 1Sa 15:11 2Sa 12:16-18 Ps 77:2-11 Mt 20:21,22 Mt 26:39-44 Heb 5:7 
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Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me.

2 Corinthians 12:9  And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

  • My grace: 2Co 12:10 3:5,6 Ex 3:11,12 4:10-15 De 33:25-27 Jos 1:9 Isa 43:2 Jer 1:6-9 Mt 10:19,20 Lu 21:15 1Co 10:13 15:10 Col 1:28,29 1Ti 1:14 Heb 4:16 
  • for: Ps 8:2 Isa 35:3,4 40:29-31 41:13-16 Da 10:16-19 Eph 3:16 Php 4:13 Col 1:11 Heb 11:34 
  • Most: 2Co 12:10,15 Mt 5:11,12 
  • glory: 2Co 12:5 11:30 
  • the power: 2Ki 2:15 Isa 4:5,6 11:2 Zep 3:17 Mt 28:18,20 1Pe 4:13,14 
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And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me

2 Corinthians 12:10  Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

  • I take: 2Co 1:4 4:8-10,17 7:4 Ac 5:41 Ro 5:3 8:35-39 Php 1:29 2:17,18 Col 1:24 Jas 1:2 1Pe 1:6,7 4:13,14 
  • in infirmities: 2Co 11:23-30 
  • for Christ's: 2Co 4:5,11 10:18 Lu 6:22  Joh 15:21 1Co 4:10 Rev 2:3 
  • for when: 2Co 12:9 13:4,9 Eph 6:10 
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Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong

2 Corinthians 12:11  I have become foolish; you yourselves compelled me. Actually I should have been commended by you, for in no respect was I inferior to the most eminent apostles, even though I am a nobody.

  • become: 2Co 1:6 11:1,16,17 
  • for in: 2Co 12:12 11:5 1Co 3:4-7,22 Ga 2:6-14 
  • though: Lu 17:10 1Co 3:7 15:8-10 Eph 3:8 
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I have become foolish; you yourselves compelled me. Actually I should have been commended by you, for in no respect was I inferior to the most eminent apostles, even though I am a nobody.

2 Corinthians 12:12  The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by signs and wonders and miracles.

The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by signs and wonders and miracles

2 Corinthians 12:13  For in what respect were you treated as inferior to the rest of the churches, except that I myself did not become a burden to you? Forgive me this wrong!

  • I myself: 2Co 12:14 11:8,9 1Co 9:6,12,15-18 
  • forgive: 2Co 11:7 
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For in what respect were you treated as inferior to the rest of the churches, except that I myself did not become a burden to you? Forgive me this wrong

2 Corinthians 12:14  Here for this third time I am ready to come to you, and I will not be a burden to you; for I do not seek what is yours, but you; for children are not responsible to save up for their parents, but parents for their children.

  • the third: That is, the third time I have purposed to visit you.  See the parallel passages. 2Co 1:15 13:1 1Co 4:19 11:34 16:5 
  • for I: Pr 11:30 Ac 20:33 1Co 10:33 Php 4:1,17 1Th 2:5,6,8,19,20 1Pe 5:2-4 
  • for the: Ge 24:35,36 31:14,15 Pr 13:22 19:14 1Co 4:14,15 1Th 2:11 
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Here for this third time I am ready to come to you, and I will not be a burden to you; for I do not seek what is yours, but you; for children are not responsible to save up for their parents, but parents for their children

2 Corinthians 12:15  I will most gladly spend and be expended for your souls. If I love you more, am I to be loved less?

  • will: 2Co 12:9 1:6,14 2:3 7:3  Joh 10:10,11 Ga 4:10 Php 2:17 Col 1:24 1Th 2:8 2Ti 2:10 
  • you: Gr. your souls, 2Co 12:14 Heb 13:17 
  • though: 2Co 6:12,13 2Sa 13:39 17:1-4 18:33 1Co 4:8-18 
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I will most gladly spend and be expended for your souls. If I love you more, am I to be loved less

2 Corinthians 12:16  But be that as it may, I did not burden you myself; nevertheless, crafty fellow that I am, I took you in by deceit.

  • I did not: 2Co 12:13 11:9,10 
  • being: That is, as my enemies represent, 2Co 1:12 4:2 7:2 10:2,3 1Th 2:3,5 1Pe 2:3 
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But be that as it may, I did not burden you myself; nevertheless, crafty fellow that I am, I took you in by deceit.

2 Corinthians 12:17  Certainly I have not taken advantage of you through any of those whom I have sent to you, have I?

Certainly I have not taken advantage of you through any of those whom I have sent to you, have I

2 Corinthians 12:18  I urged Titus to go, and I sent the brother with him. Titus did not take any advantage of you, did he? Did we not conduct ourselves in the same spirit and walk in the same steps?

  • Titus: 2Co 2:12,13 7:2,6 
  • with: 2Co 8:6,18 
  • walked we not in the same spirit: 2Co 8:6,16-23 Php 2:19-22 
  • in the same steps: Nu 16:15 1Sa 12:3,4 Ne 5:14 Ac 20:33-35 Ro 4:12 1Pe 2:21 
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I urged Titus to go, and I sent the brother with him. Titus did not take any advantage of you, did he? Did we not conduct ourselves in the same spirit and walk in the same steps

2 Corinthians 12:19  All this time you have been thinking that we are defending ourselves to you. Actually, it is in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ; and all for your upbuilding, beloved.

  • think: 2Co 3:1 5:12 
  • we speak: 2Co 11:10,31 Ro 9:1 
  • but: 2Co 5:13 10:8 13:10 1Co 9:12-23 10:33 14:26 
  • dearly: 2Co 12:15 7:1 Ro 12:19 1Co 10:14 Php 4:1 
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All this time you have been thinking that we are defending ourselves to you. Actually, it is in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ; and all for your upbuilding, beloved

2 Corinthians 12:20  For I am afraid that perhaps when I come I may find you to be not what I wish and may be found by you to be not what you wish; that perhaps there will be strife, jealousy, angry tempers, disputes, slanders, gossip, arrogance, disturbances;

  • I shall not: 2Co 12:21 13:9 
  • and that: 2Co 1:23,24 2:1-3 10:2,6,8,9 13:2,10 1Co 4:18-21 5:3-5 
  • debates: 1Co 1:11 3:3,4 4:6-8,18 6:7,8 11:16-19 14:36,37 Ga 5:15,19-21 Ga 5:26 Eph 4:31,32 Jas 3:14-16 4:1-5 1Pe 2:1 
  • whisperings: Ps 41:7 Pr 16:28 Ro 1:29 
  • swellings: 2Pe 2:18 Jude 1:16 
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For I am afraid that perhaps when I come I may find you to be not what I wish and may be found by you to be not what you wish; that perhaps there will be strife, jealousy, angry tempers, disputes, slanders, gossip, arrogance, disturbances

2 Corinthians 12:21  I am afraid that when I come again my God may humiliate me before you, and I may mourn over many of those who have sinned in the past and not repented of the impurity, immorality and sensuality which they have practiced.

  • my God: 2Co 12:7 8:24 9:3,4 
  • that I: 2Co 2:1-4 Ex 32:31 De 9:15,25 1Sa 15:35 Ezr 9:3 10:1 Ps 119:136 Jer 9:1 13:17 Lu 9:41,42 Ro 9:2 Php 3:18,19 
  • sinned: 2Co 13:2 
  • and have not: 2Co 2:5-11 7:9-11 10:6 1Co 6:9-11 Rev 22:20 
  • uncleanness: Ro 13:13 1Co 5:1,9-11 6:15-18 Ga 5:19 Eph 5:5,6 Col 3:5 1Th 4:3-7 Heb 13:4 1Pe 4:2,3 2Pe 2:10-14,18 Jude 1:7,23 Rev 21:8 22:15 
  • 2 Corinthians 12 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

I am afraid that when I come again my God may humiliate me before you, and I may mourn over many of those who have sinned in the past and not repented of the impurity, immorality and sensuality which they have practiced