I must tell you, brothers and sisters, about the grace of God which has
been given to the churches of Macedonia.
In a period of severe trial, the
abundance of their joy and their deep poverty have overflowed in the riches of
For I testify that, as they were able, and even more than
they were able, they gave of their own accord,
begging us insistently for the privilege of sharing in the support of the saints.
They even did more than we
had expected. They gave themselves first to the lord, and then to us, through the
will of God.
So we urged Titus that as he had made a start before, he would
also complete for you this gracious ministry.
But as you excel in everything — faith, speech, knowledge, earnestness, and
the love we inspired in you — see that you also excel in this gracious gift.I
am not saying this as a command, but I am testing against the earnestness of
others the sincerity of your love.For you know the gracious generosity of our lord Jesus
Even though he was rich, he became poor for your sake,
so that you through his poverty might become rich.
10 I give my opinion on this matter: this would be good for you, who made a start a year ago,
not only in giving but also in your desire to give. 11 Now follow through with your
desire to complete it, according to your ability.
12 If the willingness is there, it
is acceptable to give according to what you have, not according to what you
do not have. 13 I do not say this so that others may be eased and you suffer, but as a matter of equality.
14 Your abundance at this present time will provide for their need, so that
their abundance may one day supply your need, and there may be equality.
15 As it is written, “The one who gathered much had nothing left over, and the one who
gathered little had no lack.”
16 But thanks be to God, who put the same earnest care I have for you into the heart
17 He not only accepted our request, but because he was so eager, he
is going to see you of his own accord.
18 We are sending with him a brother whom
all the churches praise for his work in preaching the Gospel.
19 And not only that, but this brother was appointed by the churches to travel with us to
administer this generous gift, to the glory of the Lord and to show our
eagerness to help.
20 We did this so that no one would discredit us in regard to
this generous gift which we are administering, 21 because we are concerned
about what is honorable, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight
of people. 22 And we are sending with them our brother who has often proven
himself diligent in many things, and who is now even more diligent because
of the great confidence he has in you.
23 If there is any question about Titus,
he is my partner and fellow worker for you. If there is any question about our
brothers, they are messengers of the churches and an honor to the Messiah. 24 So
show them openly before the churches the proof of your love and our pride in
The lord Messiah is so defined in Luke 2:11; Rom. 16:18; Col. 3:24. He was born in
Bethlehem after being supernaturally begotten by the Father in the womb of Mary (Lk. 1:35). In Luke
2:26 he is the “LORD’s Messiah.”
This description of the Messiah is parallel to Phil. 2 where the human Jesus, although invested
with unique authority as the perfect image of God, did not exploit his position, but acted as a servant to
the human race. There is no doctrine of the Incarnation of an imagined second member of a triune God.
The human Jesus was fully endowed with divine authority and privilege. Though enjoying this
astonishing status as the Son of God, Jesus adopted the role of servant. The translation “being in very
nature God” of the NIV (Phil. 2:6) is misleading.