Paul’s Thorn in the Flesh
Bible Text: 2 Corinthians 12:7-11 | Speaker: Pastor James Zaebst
II Corinthians 12:7 : Paul was given a physical ailment by God’s permissive (not directive) will in order that he not get too proud of himself. God does not need the mighty or noble or proud (I Corinthians 1:26-29). In this way God alone gets the glory. The source for the illness was Satan.
II Corinthians 12:8 : The fact that Paul prayed about his illness three times tells us it was serious and long term.
Galatians 6:11 : Paul’s eyesight was so bad he could only respond in very large handwriting
Galatians 4:14 : His malady physically disfigured him. Many had a hard time looking at him in his condition.
II Corinthians 10:10 : His bodily presence was so weak that he required a physician as his constant companion Colossians 4:14 and II Timothy 4:11.
II Corinthians 12:9 : Paul could no longer heal with certainty. (The date of this prayer is A. D. 60.) Yet in the past Paul was mighty in regard to miraculous healing (II Corinthians 12:11 – 12).
Just one year earlier, Paul could raise the dead (Acts 20:7-12).
In A. D. 65, Paul tells Timothy to use medicine (I Timothy 5:23).
In A. D. 66, Trophimus is left sick at Miletum (II Timothy 4:20).
Paul’s frustration was understandable.
Was Paul forever done healing? No, not at all! Acts 28: 1-9. Here once again Paul miraculously heals in A. D. 62, two whole years after he could not heal himself. God is still healing, but we like Paul can no longer schedule His miracles.
II Corinthians 12: 10–11: Our reaction should be like that of Paul. God uses even illness to strengthen us in our faith. As we lean on the Lord, He turns our weakness into spirit might.
Romans 5: 3-4