2 Corinthians 12:1…
Have you ever attempted to describe the indescribable?
What if the very thing you were given to describe was so fantastic it could exonerate you from your accusers, and improve your standing to such an extent you would be above accusation both now and in the future?
Granted, he is (against his desire to do so,) defending himself from his critics. But to even attempt to describe the indescribable is not a tool he would – or even could – employ.
And yet his experiences have been so great and glorious they have fueled and empowered his ministry to such an extent he is willing to go anywhere and do anything for the sake of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
But in the midst of all the greatness of his personal experiences, what could keep him from becoming just another pride-filled man seeking to draw attention to himself?
There is a lot of tension in these chapters. Paul seeks to defend himself from the pridefulness of those who would seek to denigrate his authority as an apostle of Jesus Christ, and yet his only defense is his humility before God – and now man. How can any man seek to rule over other men by humility? It runs totally contrary to all human experience – and it certainly sets him at odds with his critics, who would claim to know more than Paul knows.
But who could know more about heaven and how to get there than one who has been caught up into it? This Paul would assert, but along with the assertion his inability and unwillingness to describe what he saw. His critics may have a field day with this, but Godly humility would not allow Paul to say more.
And of his affliction? What was it? Wasn’t it clear proof he was outside God’s favor?
Doesn’t God honor faith in His true followers to such an extent they can expect to never be unhealthy or un-wealthy? Aren’t Christ’s followers protected from all the enemy attempts to bring weakness or suffering into their lives? Doesn’t Paul’s suffering clearly indicate God is punishing him?
Who would choose to follow a man such as this, who basically offers no human defense? A man who would boldly confess his weaknesses and his afflictions as his strengths? Only God could or would lead any man to submit to the Gospel doctrine of a man such as this. Paul understands this is the ‘point’ of the thorn.