|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
8:16-24 The apostle commends the brethren sent to collect their charity, that it might be known who they were, and how safely they might be trusted. It is the duty of all Christians to act prudently; to hinder, as far as we can, all unjust suspicions. It is needful, in the first place, to act uprightly in the sight of God, but things honest in the sight of men should also be attended to. A clear character, as well as a pure conscience, is requisite for usefulness. They brought glory to Christ as instruments, and had obtained honour from Christ to be counted faithful, and employed in his service. The good opinion others have of us, should be an argument with us to do well.
Verse 20. - Avoiding this. The object in sending Titus and the brother was to cut away the possibility of blame and suspicion. The word "avoiding" (stellomenoi) literally means "furling sail," and then "taking precautions." It may, however, mean "making this arrangement" (see 2 Thessalonians 3:6). Too much stress has been laid on St. Paul's "use of nautical terms" (Acts 20:20; Galatians 2:12, etc.). They belong, in fact, to the very phraseology of the Greek language. That no man should blame us (see 2 Corinthians 6:3). St. Paul here sets a valuable and necessary example to all Christians who are entrusted with the management of charitable funds. It is their duty to take every step which may place them above the possibility of of suspicion. Their management of the sums entrusted to them should be obviously and transparently business-like and honourable. St. Paul taught this behaviour both by example and by precept (Romans 12:17; Philippians 4:8). There is such a thing as a foolish and reprehensible indifference to public opinion (1 Peter 2:12). Yet with all his noble carefulness, St. Paul did not escape this very slander (2 Corinthians 12:18). In this abundance. The word, which occurs here only, means literally "succulence," but in the LXX. the adjective means "rich" (1 Kings 1:9). It here implies that the sum which had been collected by St. Paul's exertion was a large one.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Avoiding this, that no man should blame us,.... There is an allusion in these words to mariners, who, when sensible of danger, steer their course another way, in order to shun a rock and secure themselves. So the apostles being aware of the censorious spirits of some persons, and to prevent all suspicion of their converting any part of what they had collected to their own private use, sent Titus with it, a man of known probity and integrity; and he not by himself only, but another brother with him, one who had obtained a good report as a minister of the Gospel in all the churches: and, besides, was appointed not by the apostles, but by the churches themselves, to this service. This shows the good conduct, and great prudence of the apostle, and his care and solicitude that the ministry be not blamed; he knew he had many enemies, and how subject such are to suspicion and jealousy, when persons are intrusted with much, which was the case here; for it is added,
in this abundance which is administered by us: which designs the very large contributions which were made by the churches, through the means of the apostle's moving, exciting, and encouraging them thereunto; and which were committed to their care and trust, and at their entreaty they had accepted of.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
20. Avoiding—taking precautions against this.
in this abundance—in the case of this abundance.
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