Summary: (Part 2) This passage shows Paul’s desire and strategy for good financial administration.
THE NEED FOR GOOD FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION
(8:16) But thanks be to God who puts the same earnest care for you in the heart of Titus. (17) For he not only accepted our appeal, but being himself very earnest he is going to you of his own accord. (18) With him we are sending the brother who is famous among all the churches for his preaching of the gospel; (19) and not only that, but he has been appointed by the churches to travel with us in this gracious work which we are carrying on, for the glory of the Lord and to show our good will. (20) We intend that no one should blame us about this liberal gift which we are administering, (21) for we aim at what is honorable not only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of men. (22) And with them we are sending our brother whom we have often tested and found earnest in many matters, but who is now more earnest than ever because of his great confidence in you. (23) As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker in your service; and as for our brethren, they are messengers of the churches, the glory of Christ.
(24) So give proof, before the churches, of your love and of our boasting about you to these men. (9:1) Now it is superfluous for me to write to you about the offering for the saints, (2) for I know your readiness, of which I boast about you to the people of Macedo’nia, saying that Acha’ia has been ready since last year; and your zeal has stirred up most of them. (3) But I am sending the brethren so that our boasting about you may not prove vain in this case, so that you may be ready, as I said you would be; (4) lest if some Macedo’nians come with me and find that you are not ready, we be humiliated -- to say nothing of you -- for being so confident. (5) So I thought it necessary to urge the brethren to go on to you before me, and arrange in advance for this gift you have promised, so that it may be ready not as an exaction but as a willing gift. (Revised Standard Version)
This passage shows Paul’s desire and strategy for good financial administration.
I. First of all, Paul is concerned about those who will HANDLE the financial administration.
It is where he had chosen trustworthy and known honest men to handle the financial contribution of the Corinthian believers for the believers in Judea. Of the three men chosen by Paul, only Titus was mentioned. Paul sent them to Corinth to collect the latter’s financial gift for the Judean believers along with his letter to them. He commends Titus with thankfulness to God (v. 16) whose heart is willing to do good for others. Titus accepted that work (v. 17) of fund-raising. “Asking charity for the relief of others is by many looked upon as a thankless office; yet it is a good office, and what we should not be shy of when we are called to it” (Matthew Henry Commentary). Also, Paul commends another brother, who was sent with Titus. That brother is commended as a man who was known and honored by all the churches for his love and work in propagating the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ (v. 18). His ministerial services of several kinds were well known, and he had approved himself praiseworthy in what he had done. Also, that brother was chosen of the churches (v. 19) to join Paul in his ministry. The third brother referred to by Paul had approved himself diligent in many things; and therefore was fit to be employed in this affair. Moreover, he had great desire to this work, because of the confidence or good opinion he had of the Corinthians (v. 22). The purpose of the writing of 2 Corinthians is undoubtedly polemical with Paul having to meet opposition and suspicion. Paul must clear the air at Corinth of any remaining doubts regarding the integrity of his motives and actions, especially where money matters are concerned (vs. 20-21, cf. 2 Cor. 7.2, 11.20, 12.15-18). He also mentioned in full of terms and ideas that not only indicate how trustworthy and duly accredited while at the same time Paul is ready to distance himself from the collection itself lest it should be thought that he had a personal stake on the matter (Ralph P. Martin).
John Rice commented that more than one person will handle the money, men elected by the churches. This is to give no reason for distrust and temptation for someone without supervision to misuse God’s money.
II. Paul is concerned on the GOAL of financial administration which is both directed towards God and towards man.