Read 2 Corinthians 11
Key Verse: 2 Corinthians 11:29 “Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation?””
Paul continues his boasting in verse 16-33. In so doing, he is reminding the Corinthians of his credentials (as compared to false teachers who are undermining Paul’s credibility). What does he boast about? He is a Jew (v.22). He is “more” than “a servant of Christ” in that he has “worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again” (v.23). He has received thirty-nine lashes five times. Three times he has been beaten with rods, once he has been stoned, three times he has been shipwrecked and treaded water for a night and a day in the shark-infested Mediterranean Ocean (vv.24, 25). In fact, his life has been one constant danger (v.26) at worst, and a colossal inconvenience (v.27) at best. Then, on top of it all, he has lived with “the pressure of [his] concern for all the churches” (v.19).
It is in this context that Paul says, “Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation?” In other words, “there is nothing you have experienced that I don’t know something about. I have been there. I have suffered I have been angry at injustice and the object of injustice. I understand.”
This is a bit of a twist on boasting. Usually we hear boasts about successes. Here we read boasts of failures, hardships, and deprivations. Paul has paid the price. And who is going to object to that king of boasting?