Alright, I confess. The Apostle Paul is one of my heroes of the New Testament. I often think of his words to the church at Corinth, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” (1 Cor. 11:1) Oh how I want to imitate Christ in the way that Paul did with his own life. Paul said, “I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:12-13) Paul was amazing, a true inspiration, and seemingly, a man of steel. Or, was he?
This week’s passage pops my Pauline bubble just a little, as we see Paul on the ropes once again with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The theme is quite familiar and yet I find it immensely challenging and uplifting in a new and insightful way (and I hope you do too). It knocked Paul down a couple pegs, in my view, but also lifts our hope and trust in the surpassing worth of Jesus, our Lord.