Paul's Vision And His Thorn
I must go on Boasting.
Although there is nothing to be gained,
I will go on to Visions and Revelations from the Lord.
2 I know a man in Christ
Who fourteen years ago
Was caught up to the Third Heaven.
Whether it was in the body or out of the body
I do not know—God knows.
3 And I know that this man--
Whether in the body or apart from the body
I do not know—but God knows--
WAS CAUGHT UP TO PARADISE.
HE HEARD INEXPRESSIBLE THINGS,
THINGS THAT MAN IS NOT PERMITTED TO TELL.
5 I will Boast about a man like that,
But I will not Boast about myself,
Except about my Weaknesses.
6 Even if I should choose to Boast,
I would not be a Fool,
Because I would be speaking the Truth.
But I Refrain, so no one will think more of me
Than is Warranted by what I do or say.
7 TO KEEP ME FROM BECOMING CONCEITED
BECAUSE OF THOSE SURPASSINGLY GREAT REVELATIONS,
THERE WAS GIVEN TO ME A THORN IN MY FLESH,
A MESSENGER OF SATAN,
TO TORMENT ME.
8 THREE TIMES I PLEADED WITH THE LORE
TO TAKE IT AWAY FROM ME.
9 BUT HE SAID TO ME,
'MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR YOU,
FOR MY POWER IS MADE PERFECT IN WEAKNESS.'
Therefore I will Boast all the more gladly
About my Weaknesses,
SO THAT CHRIST'S POWER MAY REST ON ME.
10 THAT IS WHY, FOR CHRIST'S SAKE,
I DELIGHT IN WEAKNESSES,
IN INSULTS, IN HARDSHIPS,
IN PERSECUTIONS, IN DIFFICULTIES.
FOR WHEN I AM WEAK, THEN I AM STRONG.
Paul's Concern For The Corinthians
11 I HAVE MADE A FOOL OF MYSELF
BUT YOU DROVE ME TO IT.
I ought to have been Commended by you,
For I am not in the least Inferior to the 'super apostles,'
Even though I am nothing.
12 THE THINGS THAT MARK AN APOSTLE--
SIGNS, WONDERS AND MIRACLES--
WERE DONE AMONG YOU WITH GREAT PERSEVERANCE.
13 How were you Inferior to the other Churches,
Except that I was never a burden to you?
FORGIVE ME THIS WRONG!
14 Now I am ready to visit you for the Third time,
And I will not be a burden to you,
WHAT I WANT IS NOT YOUR POSSESSIONS BUT YOU.
After all, Children should not have to save up for their Parents,
Bit Parents for their Children.
15 SO I WILL VERY GLADLY SPEND FOR YOU
EVERYTHING I HAVE
AND EXPEND MYSELF AS WELL.
IF I LOVE YOU MORE, WILL YOU LOVE ME LESS?
16 Be that as it may,
I have not been a Burden to you.
YET, CRAFTY FELLOW THAT I AM,
I CAUGHT YOU BY TRICKERY!
17 Did I Exploit you through any of the men I sent you?
18 I urged Titus to go to you
And I sent our brother with him.
Titus did not Exploit you, did he?
Did we not act in the same spirit
And follow the same course?
19 Have you been thinking all along
That we have been defending ourselves to you?
WE HAVE BEEN SPEAKING IN THE SIGHT OF GOD
AS THOSE IN CHRIST;
AND EVERYTHING WE DO, DEAR FRIENDS,
IS FOR YOUR STRENGTHENING.
20 For I am afraid that when I come
I may not find you as I want you to be,
And you may not find me as you want me to be.
I FEAR THAT THERE MAY BE QUARRELING, JEALOUSY,
OUTBURSTS OF ANGER, FACTIONS, SLANDER, GOSSIP,
ARROGANCE AND DISORDER.
21 I am afraid that when I come again
My God will humble me before you,
And I will be Grieved over many who have Sinned earlier
AND HAVE NOT REPENTED OF THE IMPURITY,
SEXUAL SIN AND DEBAUCHERY
IN WHICH THEY HAVE INDULGED.
(2 Corinthians 12)