Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Who are these guys?

I noticed something in this morning's reading that I don't think I'd seen before: two unnamed men, who will be couriers for the gift to be sent from the Corinthians. Take a look at what Paul says about these guys:
And we are sending along with him the brother who is praised by all the churches for his service to the gospel.... We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift. For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of men. In addition, we are sending with them our brother who has often proved to us in many ways that he is zealous, and now even more so because of his great confidence in you. As for ... our brothers, they are representatives of the churches and an honor to Christ.
2 Corinthians 8.18-23
Did you see that last part, "an honor to Christ"? How would that feel, to have the apostle Paul say, "As for _________, he's a representative of the church and an honor to Christ." Wow! Or how would it be to have that on your headstone?

What were these guys like? And why doesn't Paul mention their names?

I guess we don't know their names because we don't have to -- that is, the Holy Spirit didn't think it important to put that in there. It may be enough that we see what these guys are like. So we don't know their names; what do we know about them? Here's a little list.
  • serves the gospel; all the churches praise him for that
  • men of integrity; if they are the couriers, no questions will be raised about how the gift is administered
  • zealous
  • really believes in the Corinthians
There are some people who, when you read about something they're doing, you think, "Oh, well if __________ is involved with it, it must be OK." Why do they create that kind of response? I guess it's because they are people of integrity. I want to be like that.

How about that last one: "because of his great confidence in you"? If somebody's carrying the mail, why does he have to believe in the sender? Well, he's not just the mailman here; he also gives encouragement to people at both ends of the delivery.

I guess this kind of confidence, or faith if you like, is part of love. And if love and encouragement are two of Paul's most popular themes, then I guess that's why Paul is so happy about the faith and love that this particular brother - whatever his name is - has for the Corinthians.

And that's part of what makes him "an honor to Christ." Wow. Want to be more like that? Me too.

No comments: