Focus Scripture – 2 Corinthians 13:11-13 (NKJV)
This reflection is the first in a multi-part series on the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth (2 Corinthians 13:11-13), a principal city of Greece and a major center of trade. It was a city situated in the midst of diversity, idolatry, and sinfulness. One commentary said it was famous for its wealth as well as for its vice. Because of, or perhaps in spite of, these characteristics, Paul planted a church there between AD 53–57. Both the biblical text and some commentaries suggest, “the church was in many ways a mirror of the city” (Fee, 3). The majority of the church’s members were Gentiles, former idolaters, mainly of lower socioeconomic status. They were a heterogeneous mix of Jew, Greek, slave, free, rich, and poor. This situation, inevitably, led to tensions and internal rivalries among the church’s members. (Ashbury Commentary)
Paul spent approximately 18 months to two years instilling in the new church the values Christ had modeled during his earthly ministry. This letter is one of two recorded epistles to the Church in Corinth. In these letters, Paul issued assessments of their performance and evaluated their progress toward meeting the goals he had worked so hard to establish.
The following reflections will examine the letter in greater detail.