Suffering fools easily? – Saturday, 22nd week in ordinary time – 1 Corinthians 4:6b-15

Paul did not suffer fools easily and while he could be a gentle giant, he knew also slay a dragon. Some apparently ‘wise’ members of the Corinthian community seemed to have daggers drawn at Paul. From 4:3 we know that they questioned his authority as leader or as an apostle. Some had clearly rallied around Apollos who was a more erudite preacher and were routing for Apollo’s leadership in the Church of Corinth.

Paul reminds the Corinthians that both he and Apollos were servants and stewards (4:1). Interestingly when Paul speaks of a servant, he usually uses the Greek word doulos, which translates as slave. Here he uses the Greek word hyperetas which translates as an ‘under rower’. Paul is making a point. They are not slaves but and workers; workers who one would find in the galley of a ship. Being workers, they were clearly not leaders, just ordinary chaps doing their job assigned to them.

But doing their job was exactly what the Corinthians were not doing. They, it seemed were bent on division and disunity and had quite forgotten who had done the planting and who was assigned with the watering of this community’s faith.

Paul uses sarcasm to make a point and boy is he sarcastic in this text. It is true that Corinth was a wealthy city and that wealth had trickled down to its citizen. Now that they were professionally landed their money spoke and not their faith. Paul says it as it is, “you have become rich and quite apart from us (the apostles) you have become kings.

The true gladiators for Christ were not the Corinthians who had begun to live a fanciful life; fancy enough to now begin to disturb the unity of the community. It is not their wealth per se that Paul is attacking but their lifestyles that have led them believe they are ‘kingmakers’ in the community. The apostles and those faithful to Christ are the true gladiators who are condemned to death in the arena of faith and they are the ones who have sacrificed rather than glorify themselves.

Spread the love ♥
Continue Reading