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CHRIST THE HEALER

Pauls Thorn in the Flesh


REASONS WHY PEOPLE DONT GET HEALED -If its really Gods will to heal everyone, then why arent there more people getting healed? -There are pro a ly a lot of reasons, ut I want to start with one of the most !ommon reasons why people dont get healed" Oftentimes, people dont get healed because of wrong thinking. #nd, most often, that wrong thinking !omes from wrong teaching $ %For Instan!e, people will say" &hy should I e'pe!t God to heal me? (e wouldnt heal Paul of his thorn in the flesh$ Thats what were going to loo) at today * the truth !on!erning Pauls Thorn$ JOHN 8:32 - %If theres a T+,T( you !an -./& that will set you free, then theres also an ,.T+,T( that you !an e 0121I310 &IT( that will hold you in ondage4 %5any people have een held in the ondage of si!)ness, e!ause of wrong tea!hing theyve re!eived, !on!erning Pauls Thorn in the flesh4 6o, I want to go into some detail here, this morning$ #nd, determine" 7a8 &hat was Pauls Thorn in the Flesh? 7 8 &hat did God mean, when (e said, 5y Gra!e is 6uffi!ient? REMIND: /ne of the most asi! rules of 9i le interpretation, is that you have to interpret every verse in the light of its !onte't$ :ou !ant ;ust lift something out of !onte't, and ma)e a do!trine out of it$ If you do, youll fall into error$ EXAMPLE: < Timothy =">-? - For this is good and a!!epta le in the sight of God our 6aviour@ &ho will have all men to e saved, and to !ome unto the )nowledge of the truth$ -.ow, if you ;ust lift that verse out of its !onte't, and dont interpret it in the light of the rest of the 9i le, you !ome up with the do!trine of ,ltimate +e!on!iliation$ %#nd, people have done that4 There are people who 7on the asis of this verse8, elieve that all men, and even the devil himself will e saved one day$ 7#nd, no one will ever spend eternity in the la)e of fire$ 9ut, that !ant e su stantiated with the rest of the 9i le48 -0o you see what !an happen, when you pull something out of its !onte't? :ou fall into error4 #s we study Pauls Thorn in the Flesh, lets )eep it in the setting in whi!h Paul said it$ THE CONTEXT OF PAULS THORN -The !onte't of Pauls thorn a!tually egins a!) in << 2or$ <<"==, where Paul is defending his ministry against the a!!usations of false tea!hers$ -There were false tea!hers going around saying that" Paul is not really an apostle$ /r, if he is, hes not an apostle of our !ali er4 :ou !ant trust what hes saying$ :ou should only listen to us$ -6o, Paul is defending his ministry against the a!!usations of false tea!hers$ -Pauls defense of his ministry !onsists of three points$ 7/r" Three things that he has endured for the Gospels sa)e, that he uses as proof of his ministry and !alling$8

7a8 Perse!utions and dangers 7hes fa!ed on the mission field8 - 7v$ =>-=A8 7 8 Physi!al needs 7hes endured while ministering8 - 7v$ =B8 7!8 Inward !onfli!t 7that has !ome e!ause of the pressures of the ministry8 - 7v$ =C8 %Paul shares these things with the 2orinthian people, hoping they will realiDe that no man in his right mind would endure su!h hardship for nothing$ /nly a true !all of God !ould )eep a man on !ourse, in situations li)e these$ -Paul ends the list in verse >E, and refers to these things as his infirmities$ 7,nderline it, and noti!e that the word infirmities here has nothing to do with si!)ness$ It doesnt refer to si!)ness of any )ind4 It refers to the things that Paul has endured for the Gospels sa)e48 %Then, in 2hapter <=, he !ontinues his defense y relating some of the visions and revelations that hes had$ 11 Cor. 12:1 - -no' - If we are to oast 7although oasting is out of pla!e8, I will go on to the visions and revelations that the Ford has granted me$ -#gain, Pauls purpose in relating these things is T(1 01F1.61 /F (I6 5I.I6T+:$ (e wants to regain the !onfiden!e of the 2orinthian people, that has een lost through these false a!!usations$

PAULS RE ELATION -6in!e Paul is using his revelation as proof of his ministry and !alling, lets ta)e a moment and find out what that revelation was$ -Pauls revelation !onsisted of G ma;or points" 7<8 7=8 7>8 7?8 &hat God did F/+ ,6, through the death, urial and resurre!tion of Hesus$ &hat God wrought I. ,6, through the new irth, and the aptism in the (oly 6pirit$ &hat and &(/ &1 #+1 to God, in 2hrist$ &hat Hesus is 0/I.G F/+ ,6 ./&, in his present-day ministry, at the +ight (and of the Father$ 7G8 &hat God !an 0/ T(+/,G( ,6, as we minister (is &ord to others$ %:oull noti!e that the ul) of this revelation had to do with &(/ &1 #+1 I. 2(+I6T, and &(#T &1 2#. 0/ F/+ G/0, as elievers4 -God, through Paul, was letting the !hur!h )now what (e had a!!omplished through the death, urial, and resurre!tion of Hesus 2hrist$ -.ow, that was good news for the 2hur!h, ut dont you )now, it was ad news for the devil$ -:ou see, the devil didnt want the 2hur!h to )now these things4 %(e didnt want the 2hur!h to )now &ho they were in 2hrist4 %(e didnt want the 2hur!h to )now what Hesus was doing for them, at the +ight (and of the Father$ %#nd, he !ertainly didnt want them to )now what they !ould a!!omplish for God, y ministering Gods &ord to others4 -#nd so, priority num er one, with the devil, e!ame" 6T/P P#,F6 +131F#TI/.4

%6o, thats the 2/.T1IT of Pauls Thorn$ (es defending his ministry against the a!!usations of false tea!hers$ 7#nd, one of his greatest arguments, was the revelation hed re!eived$8 -#ll right$ .ow that we )now the !onte't, lets loo) at the reason for Pauls Thorn$

THE REASON FOR PAULS THORN << 2or$ <="B - #nd lest I should e e'alted a ove measure through the a undan!e of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of 6atan to uffet me, lest I should e e'alted a ove measure$ -Twi!e, in this one verse, Paul says that the P,+P/61 of this thorn in the flesh was to )eep him from eing e'alted a ove measure, T(+/,G( T(1 +131F#TI/.6$ -.ow, do you )now what the word e'alted means? It has ./T(I.G to do with P+I014 7&e read that in there48 -.o$ In the Gree), the word is huperairomai, and it means, to raise over, to elevate, to lift up a ove, or, to throw eyond 7the usual mar) of living8$ -.ow, e!ause we thought that the word e'alted meant lifted up in pride, we read that and said, &ell, God didnt want Paul to e!ome proud, so (e gave Paul a thorn in the flesh, to )eep him hum le4$ 9ut, that isnt what it said at all4 &hat it really said, is e'a!tly what weve een tal)ing a out4 -The devil saw that God was giving Paul a +131F#TI/. of what Hesus had a!!omplished at the 2ross, and he )new that it would !hange Pauls life4 -(e )new that it would lift 7or e'alt8 Paul into a pla!e where he, 7and all those who heard him8, !ould wal) free of the devils influen!e, and a!tually egin to govern his affairs4 #nd, lest that should happen, there was given to Paul, a thorn in the flesh, the messenger /F 6#T#., to uffet him$ 7.oti!e, this thorn in the flesh didnt !ome from God4 It was the messenger of 6#T#.48

WHAT WAS PAULS THORN! +eligious tradition will tell us that no one )nows what Pauls thorn in the flesh was$ They will say, #ll we !an do is spe!ulate4 9ut, in verse B, Paul plainly tells us what his thorn in the flesh was4 -(e said it was, T(1 51661.G1+ /F 6#T#., sent to uffet him$ -(ere again, well find it helpful to loo) into the Gree)$ -In the Gree), the word thats translated here as messenger, is a!tually the word angelos, whi!h means angel$ 7Its the same word that Hesus used, when (e said that hell was prepared for the devil and his angels$8

-6o, in verse B, Paul identifies his thorn in the flesh, as eing the angel of the devil, sent to uffet him$ -&ell loo) more in depth at this angel of the devil, in a few moments, ut right now, I want to loo) a little !loser at the term, thorn in the flesh$ "THORN IN THE FLESH# -The term, thorn in the flesh, is a!tually a (e rew Idiom$ 7#n idiom is an a!!epted phrase or e'pression, having a meaning different from the literal$8-&e have a lot of idioms in the 1nglish language, as well$ For e'ample, I might say that a person is a pain in the ne!)4 &ell, when I use that term, Im not tal)ing a out a literal pain in my ne!), am I? -.o$ 1ven though I ,610 T(1 &/+06, pain in the ne!), I wasnt T#F-I.G #9/,T a pain in the ne!)$ I meant the person was an annoyan!e$ -.ow, if I was to write you a letter, and tell you that my new oss was a pain in the ne!), I wouldnt ta)e three pages to e'plain to you that I wasnt spea)ing literally$ :ouve heard the term efore4 :ou )now Im not spea)ing literally$ -9ut, if someone from Iran was to read my letter, he might get the wrong idea$ (e might tell his family, They sure have a strange way of dis!iplining you on the ;o , in 2anada4 I hear that when you do something wrong, they hurt your ne!)4-.ow, we smile at that, ut thats e'a!tly what weve done with Pauls thorn in the flesh$ &e loo)ed at a term that was never meant to e ta)en literally - and we too) it literally, and got into error4 -The term thorn in the flesh is an idiom$ Its an a!!epted phrase or e'pression, having a meaning different from the literal$

WHERE IS THIS TERM USED IN THE $I$LE! -The idiom, thorn in the flesh, is used ? times in the &ord of God, 7in one form or another8$ It appear > times in the /ld Testament, and on!e in the .ew$ #nd, God never leaves us in the dar), !on!erning the meaning of the term$ .,591+6 >>"GE-GA #nd the Ford spa)e unto 5oses in the plains of 5oa y Hordan near Heri!ho saying, 6pea) unto the !hildren of Israel, and say unto them, &hen ye are passed over Hordan into the land of 2anaan@ Then ye shall drive out all the INHA$ITANTS of the land from efore you, and destroy all their pi!tures, and destroy all their molten images, and Juite plu!) down all their high pla!es 7pla!es of idol worship8@ #nd ye shall dispossess the INHA$ITANTS of the land, and dwell therein" for I have given you the land to possess it$$$ GG 9ut if ye will not drive out the INHA$ITANTS of the land from efore you@ then it shall !ome to pass that those INHA$ITANTS whi!h ye let remain of them shall e pri!)s in your eyes, and THORNS IN YOUR SIDES, and shall ve' you in the land, wherein ye dwell$$$ -7Paul used the phrase, thorn in the flesh$ (ere in .um ers, the term is thorns in your sides$ Theyre oth the same (e rew Idiom$8-.ow, I want you to noti!e, here in .um ers >>, that it tells us 1I#2TF: what the thorn in the flesh was to e$ It was a!tually going to e the I.(#9IT#.T6 of the land, 7or in other words, the 2#.##.IT168$

-.ow, what has happened is this" People have ta)en the term thorn in the flesh literally, and have put some sort of physi!al ailment on Paul$ 75eaning that something was a!tually in his flesh$8-9ut, if we ta)e = 2/+I.T(I#.6 literally, then we also have to ta)e .,591+6 >> literally, sin!e its the same term$ -#ll right, then$ Fets ta)e it literally$ 3erse GG said, If you dont drive out the inha itants of the land, then theyll e!ome P+I2-6 I. :/,+ 1:16, and T(/+.6 I. :/,+ 6I016$ -.ow, if we ta)e this literally, then God must have een saying, If you dont remove these people out of the land, then youll have a 2anaanites leg sti!)ing out of your side, and youll have a 2anaanites hand sti!)ing out of your eye4 -&as that what it meant? .o$ *IN NEITHE !"#$E %#& THI& TE ' 'E#NT TO (E T#)EN "ITE #""*+

THEN WHAT DID IT MEAN! -&ell, then, what did God mean, when (e told them that the 2anaanites would e!ome thorns in their sides? %+emem er" /ne of the first things that God told them to do when they entered into the land was to PF,2- 0/&. their pla!es of I0/F &/+6(IP 7high pla!es8$ -God was warning (is people of the dangers of getting involved in idol worship$ #nd, in essen!e, (e was saying, If you let the 2anaanites !oha it the land with you, then sooner or later, youre going to e worshipping &IT( T(154 -6o, it was the P1/PF1 that were going to e the thorn in the flesh$ #nd, youll find out that 131+: TI51 T(I6 P(+#61 I6 ,610 I. T(1 &/+0 /F G/0, IT #F&#:6 +1F1+6 T/ # P1+6/.#FIT:4 # personality that would e an #../:#.21, to draw you away from the things of God$ # thorn !ho)ing the &ord$ 76ee 5ar) ?"<C-<K8$ -In .um ers >>, its the I.(#9IT#.T6 of the land4 In = 2orinthians <=, its the messenger 7or angel8 of 6atan$ 9oth times, its a personality4 7:ou !an !he!) out the other referen!es yourself" Hoshua =>"<<-<>@ and Hudges ="<-?8$ %Fets go a!) to Pauls angelos$ 7<< 2or$ <="B8$ .ow, remem er, Paul has ;ust identified his thorn in the flesh as eing the angel of the devil$ Fets read it again, and see if we !an find out that angels assignment$

WAS THE ANGEL SENT TO MA%E PAUL SIC%! /r, was he sent for some other purpose? 3erse B - There was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger 7angel8 of 6atan, T/ 9,FF1T 51$$$ -6o, this angel was sent to uffet Paul$ The word uffet means, to stri)e low after low$

-This fallen angel was sent to stir up trou le, everywhere Paul went$ Fets turn over to the 9oo) of #!ts, and wat!h this angel in a!tion$

THE "ANGELOS# IN ACTS -#s you read through the 9oo) of #!ts, you !an see the effe!ts of this messenger of 6atan on every page4 #2T6 K"=>-=G #2T6 K"=A-=K #2T6 <>"??-?K #2T6 <>"<?,GE-G= #2T6 <?"<-G #2T6 <?"A-<K #2T6 <A"<=-?E #2T6 <B"<-<E #2T6 <B"<E-<? #2T6 <C"<-=> #2T6 <K"C #2T6 =E"> #2T6 =<-=C The Hews too) !ounsel to )ill Paul, right after his !onversion (e was hindered in ;oining the 2hristians (e was opposed y the Hews in a mo (e was e'pelled out of #ntio!h (e was mo ed and e'pelled out of I!onium (e fled into Fystra and 0er e where he was stoned and left for dead (e was eaten and ;ailed at Philippi (e was mo ed and e'pelled from Thessaloni!a (e was mo ed and e'pelled from 9erea (e was mo ed at 2orinth (e was disputing !ontinually with false rethren There was a plot against his life y the Hews (e was seiDed y the Hews, mo ed, and tried in !ourt G times

-0oes that sound li)e low after low to you? 6ure, it does4 It also sounds li)e = 2orinthians <<, 7the !onte't of Pauls thorn84 #5PFIFI10 - #re they (e rews? 6o am I4 They are Israelites? 6o am I4 They are des!endants of # raham? 6o am I4 #re they 7ministering8 servants of 2hrist, the 5essiah? I am tal)ing li)e one eside himself, L utM I am more, with far more e'tensive and a undant la ors, with far more imprisonments, L eatenM with !ountless stripes, and freJuently Lat the point ofM death$ Five times I re!eived from the Hews forty Llashes allM ut one@ Three times I have een eaten with rods@ on!e I was stoned$ Three times I have een a oard a ship wre!)ed at sea@ a LwholeM night and a day I have spent 7adrift8 on the deep@ 5any times on ;ourneys, Le'posed toM perils from rivers, perils from andits, perils from Lmy ownM nation, perils from the Gentiles, perils in the !ity, perils in the desert pla!es, perils in the sea, perils from those poising as elievers - ut destitute of 2hristian )nowledge and piety@

In toil and hardship, wat!hing often 7through sleepless nights8, in hunger and thirst, freJuently driven to fasting y want, in !old and e'posure and la!) of !lothing$ #nd esides those things that are without, there is the daily Lines!apa le pressureM of my !are and an'iety for all the !hur!hes4 -#gain, we see the messenger !ausing low after low, after low4

MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT -&eve esta lished that Pauls thorn was not a si!)ness, ut a messenger 7angel8 sent to uffet Paul, to )eep him from eing e'alted y the &ord$ -.ow, here in = 2or$ <="C, Paul says, Three times I egged the Ford to have him leave me alone$ 79e!)s translation - .oti!e, it !alled the thorn a him48 -Three times I egged the Ford to have him leave me alone4 3erse K - #nd he 7God8 said unto me, 5y Gra!e is suffi!ient for thee" for my strength is made perfe!t in wea)ness$ -.ow, in order for us to fully understand what the Ford said to Paul here, well first need to have a !lear understanding of what Paul as)ed$ -(eres the situation" The devil assigned a fallen angel to hinder Pauls ministry, and P#,F #6-10 G/0 to get the angel off him4 :et, ./&(1+1 I. T(1 .1& T16T#51.T, are we 131+ told to pray that God would do something a out the devil4 -6o, when Paul as)ed God to re u)e the devil, that was a totally uns!riptural prayer$

THE $ELIE ER IS TOLD TO RE$U%E THE DE IL& -#ll through the .ew Testament, T(1 91FI131+ is told to do something a out the devil4 H#516 ?"B - The understood su ;e!t of the senten!e is :/,4 :/, resist the devil, and he will flee from you$ < P1T1+ G"C-K - #gain, the understood su ;e!t is :/,$ If you want the devil to flee from you, then you must resist him4 -:ou see, G/0 (#6 #F+1#0: 0/.1 131+:T(I.G (16 G/I.G T/ 0/ #9/,T T(1 013IF, for the time eing4 -(es already sent Hesus to the 2ross4 -(es already totally defeated the devil, on your ehalf, and$$$ -(es given you the .ame of Hesus4 %.ow, if anythings going to e done a out the devil, in your life, its going to e done y :/,4 7Thats Gods plan48 -6o, you !an see that when Paul prayed for G/0 to remove this angel, it was a totally uns!riptural prayer4

%6ee, Paul wasnt a ove missing it4 (e went into one pla!e 7#!ts =<"<C-=A8, and offered 7of all things48, a purifi!ation sa!rifi!e, ;ust to please the Hews4 #nd, he set his ministry a!) G years4 -Paul missed it, ;ust li)e :/, miss it4 #nd, when he missed it, God pointed it out to him4 %Paul prayed an uns!riptural prayer, here$ #nd, God pointed it out4 %In essen!e" God said, Paul, you dont need 51 to get the devil off your !ase4 &hat Ive already done for you, 9: 5: G+#21, is suffi!ient for you4 76ee, when God told Paul, 5y Gra!e is suffi!ient, (e wasnt saying that Paul would ;ust have to P,T ,P with this thorn4 #!tually, (e was saying ;ust the opposite48 Fet me IFF,6T+#T1 it this way" 6uppose I wanted to move from 2algary to Feth ridge, and I went too my 0ad, and said, 0ad, I thin) wed etter rent a -enworth to move my furniture4 &hy, hed laugh, and say, :ou dont need a 6emi, son4 The half-ton tru!) weve got is suffi!ient4 -.ow, what did he mean, when he said, The half-ton tru!) is suffi!ient? 6orry son, you !ant move? -.o$ (e meant that &(#T I #F+1#0: (#0 was 1./,G( T/ 0/ T(1 H/94 -#nd, thats what God was telling Paul4 %&hen God said, 5y gra!e is suffi!ient, (e didnt mean that Paul would ;ust have to P,T ,P with the thorn4 7If that were the !ase, then God should have said, 5y Gra!e is Insuffi!ient48 -.o, God was telling Paul that what he #F+1#0: (#0 was enough to do the ;o 4 -*O, resist him, son4 (ell flee4 #nd, even though, in the natural, you dont loo) li)e any mat!h for him, dont worry4 5y strength is made perfe!t in your wea)ness4 << 2orinthians <="K - 5ost gladly therefore, will I rather glory in my I.FI+5ITI16$$$ %+emem er what infirmities were? #!!ording to !hapter <<, verse >E, Pauls infirmities were his perse!utions and affli!tions4 (is suffering for the gospels sa)e4 7#nd, hes referring to the same thing, here48 3erse K - 5ost gladly therefore, will I rather glory in my I.FI+5ITI16$$$ that the P/&1+ of 2hrist may rest upon me$$$%In other words, from that time on, Paul was going to view every atta!) as an opportunity to let God FI31 9IG in him4 3erse <E - Therefore I ta)e pleasure in I.FI+5ITI16, in +1P+/#2(16, in .12166ITI16, In P1+612,TI/.6, in 0I6T+16616 for 2hrists sa)e" for when I am wea), then am I strong$ %0id you noti!e what isnt in that list of infirmities? 6i!)ness4 Its !onspi!uous y its a sen!e4 Pauls Thorn wasnt si!)ness4 WHAT A$OUT PAULS EYES!

-5ost people who elieve that Paul had ad eyesight, elieve that way e!ause of 6!riptures they read in the 9oo) of Galatians$ Fets e'amine some of these verses$ G#F#TI#.6 ?"<>-<G - :e )now how through infirmity of the flesh, I prea!hed the gospel unto you at the first$ #nd my temptation whi!h was I. 5: FF16( ye despised not, nor re;e!ted@ ut re!eived me as an angel of God, even as 2hrist Hesus$ &here is then the lessedness ye spa)e of? for I ear you re!ord, that, if it had een possi le, ye would have PF,2-10 /,T :/,+ /&. 1:16, and have given them to me$ -6ome have read these verses, and !on!luded that Paul must have had poor eyesight$ 9ut, thats not the !ase$ +emem er, Pauls eyes were healed in #!ts K, when #nanias prayed for him$ 7#!ts K"<B-<C - 0o you suppose God did half a ;o ?8 .o$ 6o, Pauls eyes were healed then, werent they? -:et, it does spea) here, in Galatians ?, of an infirmity of the flesh$ I elieve if we loo) !losely, well e a le to see what that infirmity was$

AT THE FIRST %9efore we go any further, I want you to noti!e that this infirmity was not something that lasted throughout Pauls entire ministry$ It was only at the first$ 7.oti!e again what Paul said" :e )now how through infirmity of the flesh, I prea!hed the gospel unto you #T T(1 FI+6T$$$8$ -In other words, this infirmity of the flesh was something that Paul had &(1. (1 FI+6T 2#51 T/ 5I.I6T1+ to the people of Galatia$ 7That is, on his first missionary ;ourney$8 -.ow, in order for us to pinpoint this time, its important that we )now something a out Galatia$ If you read the first few verses of the 9oo) of Galatians, youll find out that its addressed to the 2(,+2(16 of Galatia - plural$ Thats e!ause Galatia was not a !ity, ut a Provin!e$ 6ome of the )ey !ities of Galatia were #ntio!h, I!onium, 0er e, and Fystra$ -.ow that we understand that, we !an go a!) to the 9oo) of #!ts, and see what happened on Pauls first missionary ;ourney to this region$ #2T6 <?"<K-== - #nd there !ame thither !ertain Hews from #ntio!h and I!onium, who persuaded the people, and HA ING STONED PAUL, drew him out of the !ity, supposing he had een dead$ (ow eit, as the dis!iples stood round a out him, he rose up, and !ame into the !ity" and THE NEXT DAY he departed with 9arna as to DER$E$ #nd, when they had prea!hed the gospel to that !ity, and had taught many, they returned again to LYSTRA, and to ICONIUM, and ANTIOCH$ 2onfirming the souls of the dis!iples, and e'horting them to !ontinue in the faith, and that we must through mu!h tri ulation enter into the )ingdom of God$ -&hen Paul !ame to the provin!e of Galatia, #T T(1 FI+6T, he had ;ust een stoned, and left for dead4 The dis!iples gathered around him, God raised him up, and T(1 31+: .1IT 0#:, he !ame to the Galatian people, !onfirming the souls of the dis!iples, and e'horting them to !ontinue in the faith, and that we must through mu!h tri ulation enter into the )ingdom of God$ -.ow, why do you suppose he !hose to spea) on that su ;e!t? 9e!ause of what he had ;ust een through4.o dou t, he still showed some signs in his ody of that eating4 Therefore, he thought it ne!essary to en!ourage the elievers, and e'hort them to !ontinue in the faith$8

%6o, weve seen from the &ord of God, what that infirmity of the flesh was4 9ut, what a out the phrase, :e would have plu!)ed out your own 1:16, and have given them to me?-&hen Paul used this e'pression, he was using another (e rew idiom$ (e wasnt saying that there was something literally wrong with his eyes4 It was an e'pression of affe!tion and devotion, mu!h li)e we use today$ -If I was to say that youd !ut off your right arm for me, that doesnt prove that I have a diseased right arm4 0oes it? .o$ Im ;ust trying to say that you are 013/T10 to me4 #nd, thats e'a!tly the way Paul was using this phase4 -:ou see, the 9oo) of Galatians was written under mu!h the same !onditions as the 9oo) of = 2orinthians$ +eligious HudaiDers had entered the Provin!e of Galatia, and were trying to win the peoples affe!tion away from Paul$ 7Paul rings this out in Gal$ ?"<B, ;ust two verses after he tal)s a out them plu!)ing out their eyes$8 G#F#TI#.6 ?"<B - /h, I )now how )een these men are to win you over, ut their motives are all wrong$ They would li)e to see you and me separated altogether, and have you all to themselves$ -6o, these men were trying to win the peoples affe!tion away from Paul$ #nd, to some e'tent, they had su!!eeded$ -6o, Paul writes" I am afraid of you, lest I have estowed upon you la our in vain$ 9rethren, I esee!h you, e as I am" for I am as ye are" ye have not in;ured me at all$ :e )now how through infirmity of the flesh I prea!hed the gospel unto you at the first$ #nd my temptation whi!h was in my flesh ye despised not, nor re;e!ted@ ut re!eived me as an angel of God, even as 2hrist Hesus$ &(1+1 I6 T(1. T(1 9F16610.166 :1 6P#-1 /F? for I ear you re!ord, that if it had een possi le, ye would have plu!)ed out your own eyes and have given them to me$ 7Gal$ ?"<<-<G8 -:ou !an see how Paul was using this phrase4 (e was saying, :ou used to love me4 &hy have you turned on me now? -2on!lusion" 6o, this infirmity of the flesh was only a temporary thing, that o!!urred during Pauls first missionary ;ourney$ In no way, then, !an we interpret it as eing, Pauls Thorn in the Flesh$ ANOTHER "PRO$LEM# SCRIPTURE -Galatians A"<< is another verse whi!h !onfuses some people$ :e see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand$ -6ome say that this verse should have een translated, :e see how &IT( 6,2( F#+G1 F1TT1+6 I write, implying that Pauls eyes were so ad, he !ouldnt read small print$ -9ut, in the Gree), the word for letter is the word gramma, and it means, a letter, note, epistle, or oo)$ -Its the same word used in << 2or$ >"A, when Paul said, The F1TT1+ )illeth, ut the spirit giveth life$ .ow, 6,+1F: Paul wasnt referring to a single letter of the alpha et, when he said, the F1TT1+ )illeth4 7:oud etter wat!h out for the letter Nm, oys, itll )ill you48$ -.o$ In neither pla!e was Paul referring to individual letters$ (e was referring to the 1pistles he had written$ -6o, he wasnt saying, Ive written with large letters, so I !ould see4$ (e was saying, Ive written you a lengthy 1pistle4 There was nothing wrong with Pauls eyes$ (e was healed in #!ts !hapter nine$ Pauls Thorn in the flesh was not a si!)ness, it was an angel sent from 6atan to stir up +eligious Perse!ution$