2 Corinthians 12:18
I desired Titus, and with him I sent a brother. Did Titus make a gain of you? walked we not in the same spirit? walked we not in the same steps?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(18) I desired Titus, and with him I sent a brother.—Better, the brother. The Greek has the article, and he refers definitely to the first of the two unnamed brethren alluded to in 2Corinthians 8:18-22. The Greek idiom of what is known as the “epistolary aorist,” hinders the English reader from seeing that St. Paul is referring to what was being done at the time when the letter was written. It would accordingly be better rendered, I have besought Titus to go; I am sending the brother with him. The ungenerous suspicions of some of the Corinthians had made him almost morbidly sensitive, and he repeats practically what he had said before (2Corinthians 8:20-21), that his motive in sending these delegates was to guard against them. Having stated this, he can appeal to their past knowledge of Titus, as a guarantee for the future. Had he “sponged” on any man, or tried what he could get out of him? Had he not identified himself with the Apostle, both in the general spirit which animated him and in the details of his daily life? It is a natural inference from this that Titus also had worked for his own maintenance and lived in his own lodging. If we may assume the identity of Titus with the Justus into whose house St. Paul went when he left the synagogue at Corinth (see Note on Acts 18:7), the appeal to the knowledge which the Corinthians had of him gains a new significance.

12:11-21 We owe it to good men, to stand up in the defence of their reputation; and we are under special obligations to those from whom we have received benefit, especially spiritual benefit, to own them as instruments in God's hand of good to us. Here is an account of the apostle's behaviour and kind intentions; in which see the character of a faithful minister of the gospel. This was his great aim and design, to do good. Here are noticed several sins commonly found among professors of religion. Falls and misdeeds are humbling to a minister; and God sometimes takes this way to humble those who might be tempted to be lifted up. These vast verses show to what excesses the false teachers had drawn aside their deluded followers. How grievous it is that such evils should be found among professors of the gospel! Yet thus it is, and has been too often, and it was so even in the days of the apostles.I desired Titus - To go and complete the collection which you had commenced; see 2 Corinthians 8:6.

And with him I sent a brother - see note on 2 Corinthians 8:18.

Did Titus make a gain of you - They knew that he did not. They had received him kindly, treated him with affection, and sent him away with every proof of confidence and respect; see 2 Corinthians 7:7. How then could they now pretend that he had defrauded them?

Walked we not in the same spirit? - Did not all his actions resemble mine? Was there not the same proof of honesty, sincerity, and love which I have ever manifested? This is a very delicate turn. Paul's course of life when with them they admitted was free from guile and from any attempt to get money by improper means. They charged him only with attempting it by means of others. He now boldly appeals to them and asks whether Titus and he had not in fact acted in the same manner; and whether they had not alike evinced a spirit free from covetousness and deceit?

18. I desired Titus—namely, to go unto you. Not the mission mentioned 2Co 8:6, 17, 22; but a mission previous to this Epistle, probably that from which he had just returned announcing to Paul their penitence (2Co 7:6-16).

a brother—rather "OUR (literally, 'the') brother"; one well known to the Corinthians, and perhaps a Corinthian; probably one of the two mentioned in 2Co 8:18, 22.

same spirit—inwardly.

steps—outwardly.

See Poole on "2 Corinthians 12:17" I desired Titus, and with him I sent a brother,.... The apostle proceeds to mention one or two persons that he had sent unto them, and desires to know whether they could charge them with any such practices. He had desired, exhorted, and encouraged Titus to go unto them, and collect money from them; but not for either of themselves, but for the poor saints at Jerusalem; and he sent another brother along with him, who is by some supposed to be Luke, to be a companion of him, and an assistant to him; and who was a witness of what he did, and for what purpose he was sent, and how he behaved:

did Titus make a gain of you? did he greedily desire your substance? did he show an avaricious temper, or a covetous inclination after your money? did he by any methods extort it from you? say if Titus, or the brother with him, received anything from you, either on their own, or my account?

walked we not in the same Spirit? in the same Spirit of God, being directed and influenced by him; or in the same disposition of mind, being agreed and determined to preach the Gospel freely, and receive nothing for it:

walked we not in the same steps? took the same methods, lived the same course of life, working with their own hands to supply their wants, rather than be burdensome to others: the apostle suggests, that where are the same Spirit, temper, disposition, and principles, there will be the same works and actions; and as for covetousness, it is neither agreeable to the Spirit of God, nor to the spirit of a Christian.

I desired Titus, and with him I sent a brother. Did Titus make a gain of you? walked we not in the same spirit? walked we not in the same steps?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2 Corinthians 12:18. παρεκάλεσα Τίτον κ.τ.λ.: I exhorted Titus (see on 2 Corinthians 8:6), and I sent the brother with him. This was the mission from which Titus’ return is recorded above (2 Corinthians 7:6), We do not know the name of his companion; but it is highly probable that Titus and this ἀδελφός are the ἀδελφοί who were the bearers of the former letter to Corinth (1 Corinthians 16:12).—μή τι ἐπλεονέκτ. κ.τ.λ.: surely Titus took no advantage of you? walked we not (i.e., Titus my emissary and I myself) by the same spirit and in the same steps? It is plain that Titus’ first mission had been admirably fulfilled, and that the Corinthians had recognised his single-mindedness and sincerity (see 2 Corinthians 7:13). To their good opinion of him St. Paul might fairly point, for Titus, after all, had only carried out his instructions.18. I desired Titus] See ch. 2 Corinthians 8:6. This has also been thought to be the Epistolary aorist, and to have a present signification, as though the present letter had been sent by Titus, but the rest of the verse seems to point to some past occasion. See also ch. 2 Corinthians 13:2; 2 Corinthians 13:10, in the Greek.

a brother] Literally, the brother. See ch. 2 Corinthians 8:18; 2 Corinthians 8:22.

in the same spirit] i.e. the Holy Spirit. Cf. Galatians 5:16.

in the same steps] Perhaps those of Christ. See 1 Peter 2:21. At least the expression marks the precise accordance between the conduct of the Apostle and his messengers.2 Corinthians 12:18. Παρεκάλεσα, I exhorted) to go to you.—τὸν ἀδελφὸν, the brother) he seems to have been a Corinthian.—πνεύματι, in spirit) inwardly.—ἴχνεσι, steps) outwardly.Verse 18. - Titus. This refers to the first visit of Titus. He was now on the eve of a second visit with two others (2 Corinthians 8:6, 18, 22). A brother; rather, the brother. Who it was is entirely unknown. Perhaps Tychicus (Titus 3:12). In the same Spirit; namely, in the Spirit of God.
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