|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:12-17 A believer's triumphs are all in Christ. To him be the praise and glory of all, while the success of the gospel is a good reason for a Christian's joy and rejoicing. In ancient triumphs, abundance of perfumes and sweet odours were used; so the name and salvation of Jesus, as ointment poured out, was a sweet savour diffused in every place. Unto some, the gospel is a savour of death unto death. They reject it to their ruin. Unto others, the gospel is a savour of life unto life: as it quickened them at first when they were dead in trespasses and sins, so it makes them more lively, and will end in eternal life. Observe the awful impressions this matter made upon the apostle, and should also make upon us. The work is great, and of ourselves we have no strength at all; all our sufficiency is of God. But what we do in religion, unless it is done in sincerity, as in the sight of God, is not of God, does not come from him, and will not reach to him. May we carefully watch ourselves in this matter; and seek the testimony of our consciences, under the teaching of the Holy Spirit, that as of sincerity, so speak we in Christ and of Christ.
Verse 13. - I had; literally, I have had. The perfect vividly realizes the scene through which he had passed. I had no rest. St. Paul had evidently told Titus to come from his mission to Corinth and meet him at Troas. But either St. Paul reached the town earlier than he intended, or Titus had been delayed. Now, the apostle was so intensely eager to know how his rebukes had been received - the name of "Corinth" was so deeply engraven on his heart - he could so ill endure the thought of being on angry terms with converts which he so deeply loved, that the non-appearance of Titus filled him with devouring anxiety and rendered him incapable of any other work. In my spirit; rather, to my spirit. It was the loftiest part of St. Paul's nature - his spirit - which was utterly incapacitated from effort by the restlessness of his miserable uncertainty about the Corinthian Church. The disclosure of such feelings ought to have had a powerful influence on the Corinthians. We see from 1 Thessalonians 3:5, 9 that St. Paul yearned for tidings of his converts with an intensity which can hardly be realized by less fervent and self-devoted natures. I found not Titus my brother. Not only "the brother," but "my brother;" the man whom in matters of this kind I most trusted as an affectionate and able fellow worker (2 Corinthians 7:6; 2 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 12:18). Titus, though not mentioned in the Acts, is the most prominent person in this Epistle, and it is evident that St. Paul felt for him a warm affection and respect (2 Corinthians 7:13, 15; 2 Corinthians 8:16, 17; 2 Timothy 4:10). Taking my leave of them; i.e. of the Christians in Troas. The word for "taking leave" is also found in Mark 6:46. Into Macedonia. As he had intended to do (1 Corinthians 16:5; Acts 20:1). He had doubtless told Titus to look out for him at Philippi, and expected to meet him there on his way to Troas.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I had no rest in my spirit,.... Though there was such a door opened to preach the Gospel, and such an opportunity of doing good, yet he was greatly distressed in his mind; very restless and uneasy in his spirit, and could not be satisfied to stay; which shows, that though he was so great a man, he was but a man, and of like passions with others: and the occasion of this dissatisfaction and uneasiness was,
because, says he,
I found not Titus my brother; whom he so styles, not merely because he was a fellow Christian, but because he was a fellow labourer in the Gospel; and by calling him so, puts an honour upon him, and expresses his affliction for him: now not finding him as he expected, he grew uneasy: not that he wanted him as an interpreter for him, or his assistance in preaching the Gospel at Troas, where so many were inclined to hear the word; but because he was exceedingly desirous of knowing from him the state of affairs in the church at Corinth; so that this whole account is given, to show his affectionate concern for, and care of that church: which he goes on with, saying,
but taking my leave of them; the disciples at Troas, and ordering and prescribing, as the word here used signifies, how things should be managed for the best after his departure; for as there was a door opened for the ministry of the word, it cannot be thought he would leave it thus, without fixing proper persons to go on with the work, and proper directions how to conduct themselves; and very likely he ordained Carpus to be their elder, bishop, or overseer: and having done this, he
went into Macedonia; in quest of Titus, whom he so earnestly desired to see, and by whose coming to him he was greatly refreshed and comforted; see 2 Corinthians 7:5.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
13. no rest in my spirit—rather, "no rest for my spirit" (Ge 8:9). As here his "spirit" had no rest; so in 2Co 7:5, his "flesh." His "spirit" under the Holy Spirit, hence, concluded that it was not necessary to avail himself of the "door" of usefulness at Troas any longer.
taking … leave of them—the disciples at Troas.
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