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THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS - Chapter 13 - Verse 4

Verse 4. For though he was crucified through weakness. Various modes have been adopted of explaining the phrase "through weakness." The most probable explanation is that which refers to the human nature which he had assumed, Php 2:7,8; 1 Pe 3:18, and to the appearance of weakness which he manifested. He did not choose to exert his power. He appeared to his enemies to be weak and feeble. This idea would be an exact illustration of the point before the apostle. He is illustrating his own conduct, and especially in the fact that he had not exerted his miraculous powers among them in the punishment of offenders; and he does it by the example of Christ, who though abundantly able to have exerted his power and to have rescued himself from his enemies, yet was willing to appear weak, and to be crucified. It is very clear,

(1.) that the Lord Jesus seemed to his enemies to be weak and incapable of resistance.

(2.) That he did not put forth his power to protect his life. He in fact offered no resistance, as if he had no power.

(3.) He had a human nature that was peculiarly sensitive, and sensible to suffering; and that was borne down and crushed under the weight of mighty woes. See Barnes "Isa 53:2,3".

From all these causes he seemed to be weak and feeble; and these appear to me to be the principal ideas in this expression.

Yet he liveth. He is not now dead. Though he was crucified, yet he now lives again, and is now capable of exerting his great power. He furnishes proof of his being alive, in the success which attends the gospel, and in the miracles which are wrought in his name and by his power. There is a living Redeemer in heaven; a Redeemer who is able to exert all the power which he ever exerted when on earth; a Redeemer, therefore, who is able to save the soul; to raise the dead; to punish all his foes.

By the power of God. In raising him from the dead, and placing him at his own right hand. See Eph 1:19-21. Through the power of God he was brought from the tomb, and has a place. assigned him at the head of the universe.

For we also are weak in him. Marg., "with him." We his apostles, also, are weak in virtue of our connexion with him. We are subject to infirmities and trials; we seem to have no power; we are exposed to contempt; and we appear to our enemies to be destitute of strength. Our enemies regard us as feeble; and they despise us.

But we shall live with him, etc. That is, that we shall show to you that we are alive. By the aid of the power of God we shall show that we are not as weak as our foes pretend; that we are invested with power; and that we are able to inflict the punishment which we threaten. This is one of the numerous instances in which Paul illustrated the case before him by a reference to the example and character of Christ. The idea is, that Christ did not exert his power, and appeared to be weak, and was put to death. So Paul says that he had not exerted his power, and seemed to be weak. But, says he, Christ lives, and is clothed with strength; and so we, though we appear to be weak, shall exert among you, or towards you, the power with which he has invested us, in inflicting punishment on our foes.

{g} "he was crucified" Php 2:7,8; 1 Pe 3:8

{1} "weak in him" "with"

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