Rodney Reeves on weak believers revealing the power of Christ’s cross

Rather than hide his flaws or deny his weakness, Paul reveled in the power of Christ that was revealed through him when he was afflicted, perplexed, persecuted and struck down (ways of describing  even his “thorn in the flesh”). Of course to the Corinthians it was sheer folly to boast about such things. Paul didn’t care. He saw the essence of the gospel in his wounds, the wisdom of God in such foolishness, the power of God in human weakness. Where would he get an idiotic idea like that? Only one place: “Jesus Christ, and him crucified” (1 Cor 2:2). In what sounds like a confirmation of the cross, Paul heard God say, “My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Cor 12:9). That’s why boasting in his weakness is the same as boasting in the cross. He freely admits there were times when he was “afflicted…perplexed…struck down” (2 Cor 4:8-9), even “depressed” (2 Cor 7:6 NASB). For Paul was convinced that weak believers reveal the strength of Christ’s cross better than anyone.

Rodney Reeves, Spirituality According to Paul: Imitating the Apostle of Christ, 50.


Almighty and everlasting God, you are always more ready to hear than we to pray, and to give more than we either desire or deserve: Pour upon us the abundance of your mercy, forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things for which we are not worthy to ask, except through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ our Savior; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Book of Common Prayer