Friday, October 3, 2008

Paul and his Thorn

Was Paul's thorn in the flesh physical or something else?

I am famous for letting the Bible interpret itself.

Certainly Paul had eyesight problems. Was that his thorn?

What about the messenger of Satan? What was that? Doesn't messenger include angelic or demonic influence?

If you read the full context of 2 Corinthians as it was written in the original language without the translator's spin it becomes very clear very quickly what Paul's Thorn was. He, Paul, defines the conflicts that cause him to move towards pride and anger in Chapter 11, Then in Chapter 12 he describes the conflict between his flesh that would cause him to boast versus the revelation from Paul and the fact that God allows his flesh to be tested by Satan's messengers without being removed from him to keep him from becoming prideful once more. It's much like the Romans 7 tension. Want to versus can do.

He was tormented by the devil to submit to his old fleshly ways in pride and anger. It was only the revelation and grace of God that kept him from capitulating into his old ways.

He as much as says so. Yet, we don't seem to grasp the idea.

I'm not going to give you a verse by verse exegesis of the whole two chapters. I suspect that you Gentle Reader are able to think for yourself and get outside of the traditions of men or teaching against healing. When I teach on the desire of God to heal his people I always get two responses, Joni Erickson Tada and Paul's thorn. The devil has used these two examples to keep people from accessing all of the healing God has for them.

I hope it's not the same for you.

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