2 Corinthians 12Lexham English Bible (LEB)
A Vision of Paradise
12 It is necessary to boast; it is not profitable, but I will proceed to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2 I know a man in Christ fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or outside the body I do not know, God knows—such a man was caught up to the third heaven, 3 and I know this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows— 4 that he was caught up to paradise and heard words not to be spoken, which it is not permitted for a person to speak. 5 On behalf of such a person I will boast, but on behalf of myself I will not boast, except in my weaknesses. 6 For if I want to boast, I will not be foolish, because I will be telling the truth, but I am refraining, so that no one can credit to me more than what he sees in me or hears anything from me, 7 even because of the extraordinary degree of the revelations. Therefore, so that I would not exalt myself, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan, in order that it would torment me so that I would not exalt myself. 8 Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would depart from me. 9 And he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, because the[a] power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore rather I will boast most gladly in my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may reside in me. 10 Therefore I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in calamities, in persecutions and difficulties for the sake of Christ, for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.
Paul’s Concern for the Christians at Corinth
11 I have become a fool! You compelled me, for I ought to have been commended by you, for I am in no way inferior to the preeminent apostles,[b] even if I am nothing. 12 Indeed, the signs of an apostle have been done among you with all patient endurance, both signs and wonders and deeds of power. 13 For in what respect are you made worse off[c] more than the rest of the churches, except that I myself was not a burden to you? Forgive me this wrong! 14 Behold, this third time I am ready to come to you, and I will not be a burden to you. For I am not seeking your possessions, but you. For children are not obligated to save up for their parents, but parents for their children. 15 But I will spend and be expended most gladly for your lives. If I love you much more, am I to be loved less? 16 But let it be. I have not been a burden to you, but because I[d] was crafty, I took you by cunning. 17 I have not taken advantage of you through anyone whom I sent to you[e], have I?[f] 18 I urged Titus to go, and I sent the brother with him. Titus did not take advantage of you, did he?[g] Did we not conduct ourselves in the same spirit?[h] Did we not walk in the same footsteps?[i] 19 Have you been thinking all this time that we are defending ourselves to you? We are speaking in Christ before God, and all these things, dear friends, are for your edification. 20 For I am afraid lest somehow when I[j] arrive, I will not find you as I want, and I may be found by you as you do not want. I am afraid[k] lest somehow there will be strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, slander, gossip, pride, disorder. 21 I am afraid lest when I[l] come again my God will humiliate me in your presence[m], and I will grieve over many of those who sinned previously and have not repented because of their impurity and sexual immorality and licentiousness that they have practiced.