2 Corinthians 12:5 KJV
Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.
2 Corinthians 12:11 KJV
I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing.
There is an interesting contrast going on in this chapter between the Paul who was flesh and the Paul who had been caught up.
- On the one hand there was the fleshly man who was nothing, infirmed and weak
- On the other hand there was the other man who was in Christ, strengthened through God and in way behind the chiefest Apostles
There was no reason to bring glory to the fleshly man, but then there was the work of the other man whose ministry had been threatened by the “negative press” from false apostles and the critical spirit of some.
"... when the false apostles reproached him, and insinuated things among them to his disadvantage, they ought not only to have turned a deaf ear to them, and to have checked and reproved them, and so have put a stop to their calumnies; but they should have spoke in commendation of him, and have declared how faithfully he had preached the Gospel to them; how useful he had been to their souls, for conviction, conversion, edification, and comfort; how laborious and indefatigable he had been in his ministry; what success attended him, and what wonderful things were done by him in proof of his divine mission... "
In other words, they should have stuck up for the preacher. Surely he wasn't perfect in the flesh. Of course there were weaknesses owing to his very humanity. But they also knew him to be
- A man of God
- A man who had died to self
- A man whose life had been given over to the things that belong to God
They should never have countenanced the attacks of these critics.
And Paul should never have had to tell them this. They should have already known.