Archive for May 6th, 2020

2 Corinthians 8:15-19

In 2 Corinthians 8:15-19 Paul reminds the church of scripture that gives a principle of giving from the Exodus. God provides what we need, not what we want. He gave the Israelites exactly what they needed each day. If they tried to hoard and gather more, it spoiled and was no good. But they never lacked. He is always faithful. “As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.” Calvin wrote “All that we have is manna… And just as manna, which was hoarded to excess out of greed or lack of faith, immediately putrefied, so we should have no doubt that riches which are heaped up at the expense of our brethren are accursed and will soon perish and their owner will be ruined with them.”

Paul builds up the resume of Titus as a trustworthy messenger who could be trusted to carry the offering to Jerusalem. Paul’s intention is to recommend Titus to them as a trustworthy bearer of their money. “But thanks be to God, who put into the heart of Titus the same earnest care I have for you.” Paul makes the case that Titus cares for the Corinthian church as much as he does. Paul didn’t force Titus to go to Corinth but he went willingly and on his own accord wanting to help the church do the right things to obey God’s plan for them. “For he not only accepted our appeal, but being himself very earnest he is going to you of his own accord.”

But beyond Titus, Paul sent along another brother to help accomplish the task. Commentators have been trying for years to figure out who this person was. “With him we are sending the brother who is famous among all the churches for his preaching of the gospel.” Some of the candidates have been Luke, Barnabas, Silas, Timothy, and a variety of others, but no one really knows. We can confidently say that it doesn’t really matter, otherwise, God would have made it clear. What we know is that this accompanying brother was well known and could really preach the gospel. Someday in heaven we can ask God who it was, but for now, know that Paul was sending the A team.

Not only could this brother preach, but he obviously had the ability to influence as part of the mission was to help the Corinthian church get on board with the giving needed for the Jerusalem church to survive. Titus and this brother were there for a purpose and they sent the big guns to help make sure there was no failure. “And not only that, but he has been appointed by the churches to travel with us as we carry out this act of grace that is being ministered by us, for the glory of the Lord himself and to show our good will.” This was a message to the church that they were serious about making sure the right things happened.

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