A fresh look at Paul’s thorn in the flesh

Much speculation has been made about Paul’s thorn in the flesh that he discusses in 2 Corinthians 12:6-10. Some have said it was a physical ailment (including me at times in the past) and in the past two days, a commenter came to this blog to use Paul’s thorn as an excuse, in my opinion, for us to cave to the temptations we face. I’ve been taught regarding Paul’s thorn that Paul asked God three times to remove it, but God said no. It has also been widely taught that the thorn was God allowing Satan to keep Paul humble and to prevent him from being puffed up because of the godly revelations he received.

That’s what I believed until I heard a sermon from Keith Moore of Faith Life Church in Branson, Missouri. Although I don’t ascribe to some of his charismatic teaching and don’t agree with some of the things he says, when he taught on Paul’s thorn a few years ago, it gave me a fresh perspective that made more sense to me than what I was traditionally taught. And when I considered that “grace” as mentioned in 2 Corinthians 12 is not only God’s unmerited favor toward us, but that it’s also God’s power in believers to do what he calls us to do and to be what he calls us to be, Keith Moore’s words made even more sense. If you have time, consider his words in the following video from about 15:20 to about 59:15 and see what you think. And if you have less time than that, try concentrating on 36:00 to 59:15.

Harry A. Gaylord

6 thoughts on “A fresh look at Paul’s thorn in the flesh

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  1. After giving some thought and looking back on the scripture, I am not so sure that the thorn in the flesh was not an affliction of sorts to Paul. Perhaps not physical in nature but a constant dilemma for him. If it was an evil spirit Paul certainly had the authority and power to deal with it so it seems to me this is rather an internal issue. I know at times Paul lamented his lack of eloquent speech, enough to write about it. It may even have been somewhat of a speech impediment that he felt distracted from the message he was trying to convey. Perhaps the number of letters and epistles he wrote would attest to this as a way of dealing with it. I’m just not sure so I am continuing to search the scriptures. Just my thoughts.


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