1 Corinthians Chapter 16 begins with Paul directing the Corinthians to set aside some money on the first day of the week. He wants them to budget their charitable donations before they spend their money on other things during the week . From this chapter alone it may not be immediately clear what the fundraiser was for. Through supplemental materials we can see that the common consensus was that Paul was raising funds for the Christian Jews living in Jerusalem. They were being persecuted for their Christianity and there were many impoverished widows to support. Paul was collecting donations from many of the Gentile churches he had helped to establish, including the church in Corinth. (Partially sourced from Bibleref.com). Paul does not want to handle the money directly but plans to write letters of reference or maybe even personally accompany delegates to deliver the money to Jerusalem so that the recipients know they can trust the source.
The chapter also talks about several people that will be visiting the Corinthians. The Corinthians are instructed to trust and accept these visitors as ministers officially recognized by Paul himself.
Finally Paul closes his lengthy letter with well wishes and invites the Corinthians to authenticate his handwriting.
As I read this chapter, it seems to me that the Corinthians may have had trust issues. Paul seems to be challenging them to trust in God’s provision through the week even though they give charitably at the beginning of the week. He directs them to trust the visitors he sends their way and finally he invites them to verify that the letter is really from him in case they don’t trust its content.
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
- Do you ever distrust someone’s motives?
- Was there a reason that person lost your trust?
- Do you ever struggle to fully trust God?
- Is there a reason God has given you to not trust him?
- What is God calling you to trust him with in your life today?