Life-Study of 2 Corinthiansby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Second Corinthians 12:1-10 is an excellent portion of the Word. These verses show that Paul was deep and also profoundly wise. The Judaizers boasted of how much they knew, claiming to be more knowledgeable than the Apostle Paul. Instead of arguing with them, Paul first boasted of his weaknesses. Now in 12:1-10 he comes to visions and revelations. Paul’s wise strategy is to defeat the arrogant Judaizers by showing that actually they do not have any vision or revelation. What the Judaizers know is vanity.
I believe that Paul’s purpose in writing these ten verses is to show to the believers at Corinth that he was much more knowledgeable than the Judaizers. He had the knowledge not only of human life on earth, but also of the things in Paradise and even in the third heaven. Paul not only knew these things; he also had a vision of them. Paul referred to this so that the follies of the Judaizers would be exposed.
If the Corinthians compared what Paul knew and what he had seen with the knowledge possessed by the Judaizers, they would say, “The Judaizers are superficial. They have only a little knowledge of the Old Testament concerning the Mosaic law and the traditional rituals. But here is a man with a full knowledge of the new covenant. He has a knowledge of human life and of things in Paradise and in the third heaven.”
I would say that in 12:1-10 we have Paul’s chief boast. Apart from the Lord Jesus, has there ever been a person besides Paul who has seen the things in the third heaven and in Paradise? As God, the Lord Jesus was in the heavens. Then He became a man on earth, died on the cross, and went to Hades. Thus, He traveled through the heavens, the earth, and the region under the earth. Paul, a man born on earth, went to the third heaven and saw what was there. He also went to Paradise and beheld the things there under the earth. To be sure, no one in human history can compare with the Lord Jesus and the Apostle Paul. What could the Judaizers possibly say about this?
In 12:1 Paul says, “To boast is necessary, though indeed not expedient; yet I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.” The apostle was forced to boast because of the Corinthians’ follies. Though it was not expedient to himself, it was necessary for their profit. He must boast so that they might be brought back, for their building up, to a sober and proper understanding concerning their relationship with the apostle. The word “come” in this verse means that Paul would now come to boast of the visions and revelations he has received of the Lord.
In verse 1 Paul speaks of both vision and revelation. Revelation is the putting aside of the veil, the unveiling of hidden things. Vision is the sight, the view, seen at the unveiling. So many things concerning God’s economy and administration in the universe were hidden. The Lord has revealed, unveiled, these things to the apostle, and he has received visions of these hidden things.
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