(From: 2 CORINTHIANS #11 - 11:16-12:10)
O. 11:16-12:10 WEAKNESS: PAUL'S SECRET OF POWER AND BOASTING
1. 11:16-33 PAUL'S UNUSUAL SUFFERING IN THE FLESH
a. 11:16 PAUL: PREPARES FOR A FOOLISH DEFENSE
I say again, Let no one think me foolish; but if you do,
ka' 'n hos Aphro-na DExasTHE me, HIna ka' 'GO miKRON te kauCHEso-mai .
yet as foolish receive me, that I also may glory a little.
b. 11:17 PAUL'S GLORYING OUT OF FOOLISHNESS
ho laLO, ou kaTA KUri-on laLO,
What I speak, I speak not after theLord,
all' hos en a-phroSUne, en TAUtetehu-poSTAsei tes kauCHEse-os .
but as in foolishness, in this :confidence of the glorying.
c. 11:18 Since many glory after the flesh, I will glory also.
ePEI polLOI kauCHONtai kaTA ten SARka , ka' 'GOkauCHEso-mai.
d. 11:19 For you bear with the foolish gladly, being wise.
heDEos gar aNEches-the ton aPHROnon, PHROni-moi ONtes.
e. 11:20 THE FOOLISHNESS OF THE CORINTHIANS
aNEches-the  gar, EI tis huMAS ka-ta-douLOI , EI tis ka-tesTHIei , EI tis lamBAnei ,
For you bear with one, if he enslave you, if he devours, if he takes you,
EI tis ePAIre-tai , EI tis eis PROso-pon huMAS DErei .
if he exalts himself, if he smites you on theface.
f. 11:21a I speak by disparagement, as though WE had been weak.
kaTA a-tiMIan LEgo, hos HOti heMEIS es-theNEka-men .
g. 11:21b Yet wherein any is bold (I speak in foolishness), I ambold also.
en hod' 'AN tis tolMA (en a-phroSUneLEgo), tolMOka' 'GO.
h. 11:22a Are they Hebrews? I also. E-BRAI-OI ei-sin? ka' 'GO.
i. 11:22b Are they Israelites? I also. Is-ra-eLEI-TAI ei-sin? ka' 'GO.
j. 11:22c Are they Abraham's seed? I also.
SPERma A-braAM ei-sin? ka' 'GO.
k. 11:23 QUESTION
diAko-noi ChrisTOU ei-sin? (pa-ra-phroNON laLO) huPER eGO;
Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as one beside himself) I more;
en KOpois pe-ris-soTEros , en phu-laKAIS pe-ris-soTEros,
in toils more abundantly, in prisons more abundantly,
en pleGAIS hu-per-balLONtos , en thaNAtois polLAkis .
in stripes above measure, in deaths often.
l. 11:24-27 PAUL LISTS HIS PAST SUFFERINGS
huPO IouDAIon penTAkis tes-seRAkon-ta paRA MIan Ela-bon;
Of theJews I received forty stripessave one five times;
tris e-rabDISthen , HApax e-liTHASthen ,
25was beaten thrice, was stoned once,
tris e-nauAge-sa , nuchTHEme-ron en tobuTHOpePOIe-ka ;
suffered shipwreck thrice, a night and a day have I been in the deep;
ho-doi-poRIais  polLAkis, kinDUnois po-taMON,
26injourneyings often, inperils of rivers,
kinDUnois leSTON , kinDUnois ek GEnous ,kinDUnois ex ethNON ,
perils of robbers, perils from myrace, perils from thenations,
kinDUnois en POlei , kinDUnois en e-reMIa ,
perils in city, perils in wilderness,
kinDUnois en thaLASse , kinDUnois en pseu-daDELphois ;
perils at sea, perils among false brethren;
KOpo  kai MOCHtho , en a-grupNIais  polLAkis, en liMO  kai DIpsei ,
27intoil and travail, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst,
en neSTEIais  polLAkis, en PSUchei  kai gumNOte-ti .
in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
m. 11:28 Besides the thingswithout, there is:what presses upon me :daily, the anxiety for all the churches.
choRIS ton pa-rekTOS, he ePIstaSIS moi he kath' heMEran, he MErim-na  paSON ton ek-kle-siON.
n. 11:29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is stumbled, and I burn not?
tis as-theNEI , kai ouk as-theNO? tis skan-daLIze-tai , kai ouk eGO puROUmai ?
o. 11:30 if Imust glory, I will glory of the thingsof my :weakness.
ei kauCHASthai  dei, ta tes as-theNEIas  mou kauCHEso-mai.
p. 11:31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is blessed unto the ages, knows that I lie not.
ho TheOS kai paTER tou KuRIou IeSOU OIden, ho on eu-lo-geTOS eis tous aiOnas, HOti ou PSEUdo-mai.
q. 11:32-33 PAUL'S ESCAPE FROM DAMASCUS
en Da-masKO ho ethNARches  A-REta tou ba-siLEos 
In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king
ePHROUrei  ten POlin Da-mas-keNON piAsai  me:
guarded the city of the Damascenes to take me:
kai diA thuRIdos  en sarGAne  e-chaLASthen 
33and through a window was I let down in a basket
diA tou TEIchous , kai eXEphu-gon  tas CHEIras  auTOU.
through the wall, and escaped his :hands.
2. 12:1-9a PAUL REVEALS HIS UNUSUAL REVELATIONS
a. 12:1 VISIONS AND REVELATIONS
KauCHASthai dei, ou sumPHEron  men;
I must glory, though it is not expedient;
eLEUso-mai de eis op-taSIas  kai a-po-kaLUpseis  KuRIou.
but I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.
b. 12:2 A VISION OF THE THIRD HEAVEN
OIda ANthro-pon en ChrisTO, pro eTON DEka TESsa-ron (EIte en SOma-ti, ouk OIda;
I know a man in Christ, fourteen years ago (whether in the body, I know not;
EIte ekTOS tou SOma-tos, ouk OIda; ho TheOS OIden),
whether out of the body, I know not; :God knows),
har-paGENta  ton toiOUton HEos TRItou ou-raNOU.
:such a one caught up even to thethird heaven.
c. 12:3-4 A VISION OF PARADISE
kai OIda ton toiOUton ANthro-pon (EIte en SOma-ti,
And I know :such a man (whether in thebody,
EIte choRIS tou SOma-tos, ouk OIda; ho TheOS OIden),
or apart from the body, I know not; :God knows),
HOti herPAgeeis ton paRAdei-son , kai Ekou-sen
4 howthat he was caught upinto :Paradise, and heard
ARre-ta 'REma-ta , ha ouk eXON anTHROpolaLEsai.
unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for man to speak.
d. 12:5 PAUL GLORIES IN HIS WEAKNESSES, NOT HIS REVELATIONS
huPER tou toiOUtou kauCHEso-mai :
On behalf of the such I will glory:
huPER de e-mauTOU ou kauCHEso-mai, ei meen tais as-theNEIais .
but on my own behalf I will not glory, save in :weaknesses.
e. 12:6-7a PAUL'S REVELATIONS, THOUGH TRUE, ARE NOT TO BE GLORIED IN
eAN gar theLEsokauCHEsas-thai, ouk Eso-mai Aphron ;
For if I should desire to glory, I shall not be foolish;
aLEthei-an gar eRO: PHEIdo-mai de, MEtis eis eME loGIse-tai 
for I shall speak truth: but I forbear, lest any one should account
huPER ho BLEpei me, eaKOUei ex eMOU,
of me above what he sees me to be, or hears from me,
kai tehu-per-boLEton a-po-kaLUpse-on .
7and by reason ofthe exceeding greatness of the revelations.
f. 12:7b THE PURPOSE OF PAUL'S THORN IN THE FLESH
di' ho mehu-peRAIro-mai , eDOthemoi SKOlops tesarKI,
Wherefore that I be not exalted overmuch, a thorn in the flesh was given me,
AGge-los Sa-taNA HIna me ko-laPHIze, HIna mehu-peRAIro-mai.
a messenger of Satan to buffet me, that I be not exalted overmuch.
g. 12:8 Concerning this I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
huPER TOUtou tris ton KUri-on pa-reKAle-sa , HIna a-poSTEap' eMOU.
h. 12:9a And he said to me, My :grace is sufficient for you: for the power is made perfect in weakness.
kai EIreKEN moi, ArKEI soi heCHAris mou: hegar DUna-mis en as-theNEIa teLEItai .
3. 12:9b-10 THE RELATIONSHIP OF WEAKNESS AND CHRIST'S POWER
a. 12:9b POWER OF CHRIST SUPERCEDES OUR WEAKNESSES
HEdis-ta oun MALlon kauCHEso-mai en tais as-theNEIais ,
Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in :weaknesses,
HIna ePI skeNOseep' heDUna-mis tou ChrisTOU.
that the :power of the Christ may spread a tabernacle over me.
b. 12:10 PAUL'S WISE APPLICATION OF THE ABOVE
di' ho eu-doKOen as-theNEIais , en HUbre-sin ,
Wherefore I take pleasure in weaknesses, in injuries,
en aNAGkais , en di-ogMOIS , kai ste-no-choRIais , huPER ChrisTOU:
in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake:
HOtan gar as-theNO, TOte du-naTOS ei-mi.
for when I am weak, then am I strong.
PARTAKERS OF HIS SUFFERINGS
(From “My Utmost for His Highest” - Oswald Chambers)
1 Peter 4:13 (12-19) “. . . but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings . . .”
If you are going to be used by God, He will take you through a number of experiences that are not meant for you personally at all. They are designed to make you useful in his hands, and to enable you to understand what takes place in the lives of others. Because of this process, you will never be surprised by what comes your way. You say, “Oh, I can't deal with that person.” Why can't you? God gave you sufficient opportunities to learn from Him about that problem; but you turned away, not heeding that lesson, because it seemed foolish to spend your time that way.
The sufferings of Christ were not those of ordinary people. He suffered “according to the will of God” (1 Peter 4:19), having a different point of view of suffering from ours. It is only through our relationship with Jesus Christ that we can understand what God is after in His dealings with us. When it comes to suffering, it is part of our Christian culture to want to know God's purpose beforehand. In the history of the Christian church, the tendency has been to avoid being identified with the sufferings of Jesus Christ. People have sought to carry out God's orders through a shortcut of their own. God's way is always the way of suffering - the way of the “Long road home.”
Are we partakers of Christ's sufferings? Are we prepared for God to stamp out our personal ambitions? Are we prepared for God to destroy our individual decisions by supernaturally transforming them? It will mean not knowing why God is taking us that way, because knowing would make us spiritually proud. We never realize at the time what God is putting us through - we go through it more or less without understanding. Then suddenly we come to a place of enlightenment, and realize - “God has strengthened me and I didn't even know it!”
NOTE: From Paul's understanding in this portion of 2 Corinthians, we can see that even he did not understand the wisdom of God in the “thorn in his flesh.” It was to ensure that his extraordinary visions concerning the “mysteries” of God would not cause him to have pride. And do we want to be used of God? Then the wisdom given to Oswald Chambers concerning the necessity of suffering to prepare us as channels of God - cannot in any way be by-passed. May God bless us each one as we determine to press in on this pathway. J.A.W.