Today’s Reading: 2 Corinthians 11:19-12:9
Daily Lectionary: Job 15:1-23, 30-35; John 6:60-71
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. No one likes to be called weak, let alone seen as weak. It’s not in our nature. People want to look strong, mighty, and as if they have things all under control.
Paul is one of those people we often look to as a “strong Christian.” He preached in season and out of season and suffered all manners of rejection, beatings, and imprisonment on account of the Gospel. He is so widely appreciated that we even tend to name our churches after him.
Paul would have none of us view him this way. He clearly says, “If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness” (1 Corinthians 11:30). Paul knew what it meant to take up his cross and follow Jesus, but he would never boast about it, because boasting in his abilities has nothing to do with Jesus or His grace. Paul received a “thorn in the flesh,” a “messenger from Satan.” Some have tried to figure out what this thorn was, but that’s not the point, either. The point is that because of this thorn he would plead to the Lord for relief. But the relief was not found in having the thorn removed. The Lord told Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Jesus’ Cross looks weak. It looks as if He utterly failed. But the Cross of Jesus shows you the mighty power of God to destroy death for you, and to raise you up again to new life. God’s power is made perfect as He takes simple and weak-looking things like His Word, water, bread and wine and brings forth His power to wash you clean of all your sins, to forgive even the more gruesome and selfish sins, and to feed you with Himself so that your faith may be strengthened until life everlasting. In the Name of Jesus + Amen. -Rev. Kent Schaaf
O God, by the preaching of your apostle Paul you have caused the light of the Gospel to shine throughout the world: Grant, we pray, that we, having his wonderful conversion in remembrance, may show ourselves thankful to you by following his holy teaching; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.