2 Corinthians 8:16-24
But thanks be to God, which put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you.…
St. Paul has given us many sketches of himself, especially much insight into his varying moods; and in these chapters (7 and 8) he interests us in the character of Titus. The section opens with thanksgiving to God, who has inclined the heart of his young friend towards the Corinthians and awakened his zeal in behalf of their welfare. No doubt it had occurred to Titus to undertake the project of collecting for the Jerusalem Church, but he had not broached the subject to the apostle. It lay quiet in his heart, doing the Spirit's work, expanding and strengthening his purpose, yet nursed in silence. "While I was musing, the fire burned." St. Paul had presented the matter to him and found him willing, ready, and zealous to enter on the task. "More forward [more earnest], of his own accord he went unto you." Two brethren of reputation had been chosen by the Churches to accompany Titus, and the three travellers, having this loving embassy in hand, would manifest "this grace," so that they and he as coworkers in the ministration would glorify God. Not enough for the apostle to honour Christ in the gifts alone, but he would enhance the glory by the manner of doing the work. The way of performing it should be exceptional, impressive, and great hearted, and thus the very mode of the act should prove a blessing as well as the thing done. For this course another reason existed. Appearances should always be consulted. No one can afford to put himself above them, to neglect, and still less to despise, them. Circumstances have their laws, and they must be obeyed. The contribution was "abundant," and he would take all possible precaution in the administration, lest the enemies of his apostleship should invent and propagate some new slander about him. The inspired man, the ambassador, the pioneer of a new Europe, was not ashamed to practise the lowly code of common sense and put a very strong emphasis on prudence. Hence his extreme caution. Blameless in the sight of God, he would be blameless in the eyes of men. And now a commendation of our brother, and a special word in behalf of Titus, "my partner and fellow helper," not forgetting to say "partner and fellow helper concerning you" and to exhort the Corinthians to make good his boasting to the Macedonian Churches on their behalf. So ends this admirable chapter. Is it not a beautiful pendant to that lamp which, for eighteen hundred years, in the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians, has hung out its blaze of splendour before the world? - L.
Parallel VersesKJV: But thanks be to God, which put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you.