Monday, September 14, 2009

Shake before using (2 Cor. 1)

During Paul's prolonged stay in Ephesus, the leading city of Anatolia, he enjoyed a period of incredible achievement. People swiped his laundry, and saw miracles happen when his tidy whities were laid on people suffering from illness and demonic oppression. Day after day, he taught eager listeners in a rented room in the school of a guy named Tyrannus. As a result of this ministry, everyone in the province of Asia (a big chunk of present-day Turkey) heard the gospel within two years. Even the devils (the cinler) described Paul as a force to be reckoned with.

So what did this man at the peak of his powers, his influence, his achievement, have to say for himself? What does it feel like to be on top of the world? Let's see his own words:
2Co 1:8 Kardeşlerim, Asya İli'nde çektiğimiz sıkıntılardan habersiz kalmanızı istemiyoruz. Dayanabileceğimizden çok ağır bir yük altındaydık. Öyle ki, yaşamaktan bile umudumuzu kesmiştik.
2Co 1:9 Ölüme mahkûm olduğumuzu içimizde hissettik. Ama bu, kendimize değil, ölüleri dirilten Tanrı'ya güvenmemiz için oldu.
2Co 1:10 Tanrı bizi böylesine büyük bir ölüm tehlikesinden kurtardı; daha da kurtaracaktır. Umudumuzu O'na bağladık.
One interesting Turkish word, habersiz, combines haber (news) with the "lacking" suffix (-siz). Paul did not want the folks in Corinth to remain clueless about his trials, the price he paid for his ministry. Yes, people of good will were eager to hear his good news of the Great King's reign. On the other hand, his Jewish countrymen were humiliated by Paul's assertion that they had missed the biggest opportunity in history. The people of his own culture regarded him as a renegade, and their snubs, slights, and contemptuous insults made life miserable quite frequently.


[1] OK -- so that brings an SQL (structured query language) joke to mind:
SELECT * FROM users WHERE clue > 0;
0 rows returned
Well, if that's obscure, have another geek joke:
There are 10 kinds of people in the world.
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

Ah, well. There's no place like

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