• Bishop Keith Butler

Thorn in the Flesh

For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. (2 Corinthians 12:6-7)


When you read the Bible, it is crucial to understand the context of a verse. We should consider what the verses surrounding it say. Many people have mistakenly believed that Paul lived with a debilitating disease because they assume that his thorn in the flesh referred to a physical ailment.

However, when you read everything in 1 Corinthians 12:6-7, you understand what Paul was referring to when he mentioned his thorn in the flesh. He stated clearly that the thorn in the flesh was not a disease, but the messenger of Satan. The Greek word for messenger is angelos and is usually translated, angel. In other words, the devil assigned a specific fallen angel to attack Paul every chance it could. Paul says it came against him everywhere to buffet him. The word buffet in Greek means to strike with the fist. It describes someone constantly punching you as you are trying to get up off the floor.


Satan attacked Paul so brutally because the devil knew the importance of the message that the apostle brought to the church. Paul taught the church about being seated in heavenly places in Christ and that the devil is under our feet. No wonder Satan wanted to stop him! Paul had a fallen angel assigned to stop him at every step, but that evil entity did not succeed. Paul continued to move forward and follow the Holy Ghost. Don't expect your Christian walk to mean that there won't be a fight. We have the armor of God because there is a part that we play in fighting the enemy.


Practical Application – As you purpose to obey God, there will be challenges. Remind yourself that greater is He that is in you than anything the enemy can throw against you!


2 Corinthians 11:26; 2 Corinthians 11:28

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