2 Corinthians 11:22–33 (NKJV)

22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I. 23 Are they ministers of Christ?—I speak as a fool—I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. 24 From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness—28 besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation?
30 If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity. 31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. 32 In Damascus the governor, under Aretas the king, was guarding the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desiring to arrest me; 33 but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and escaped from his hands.

2 Corinthians 11:22-33

Paul follows up his request to boast with this testimony. While this is not truly boasting, but more like a resume of his work thus far, it is meant to re-establish Paul as the seasoned, well-respected, powerful leader who has paid the price for the salvation of many souls. He has laid down his life on many occasions in order to take the truth of the gospel of Christ to the far reaches of the earth. He has the pedigree: Jewish in heritage and practice. He has the resume: great labors, beaten and imprisoned for the cause, stoned and left for dead, shipwrecked, well-traveled, nearly drowned, robbed, hunted, opposed by all classes and races of people, in peril in all types of conditions. He had to flee from judgment in Damascus by being let down the outside of the city wall in a basket. Paul has sacrificed and suffered in so many ways, all for the gospel and the recipients of that precious word.

Paul is basically asking his spiritual children to recognize the lengths to which he has gone to give them salvation through Christ, and then compare that to the false teachers who seek to deceive them. If they will look at Paul’s record, they will know that no one else has cared for them as he has. Paul’s hurt or insult is not the issue here. The issue at hand is the deception of the Corinthians by these wolves who would devour them, and the fate that awaits them if they do not wake up and realize the danger in which they stand. Paul is testifying to remind them that the word he gave them was truly the word of God, and not the destructive, attacking, divisive lies told to them by these false prophets who would oppose Paul. Stand with your spiritual fathers, not the come lately deviants who would rob you of your spiritual vitality and joy.

Artwork from https://img.heartlight.org/overlazy/creations/925.jpg

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