2 Corinthians 8:13-18
2 Cor 8:13 (KJB)
For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened:
Be eased - Rest or relaxation
Burdened - Pressured or afflicted
Here the Apostle Paul was declaring his intent concerning the offering that it is not meant that those who are receiving the offering will be able to live in abundance while the Corinthians who gave sacrificially are to live without basic necessities. The offering was strictly for those who were living in very rough conditions.
2 Cor 8:14 (KJB)
But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality:
Equality - Fairness or equal proportion
Want - Deficiency or need
Here the Apostle Paul brings out the principle of equality. At this time the Corinthians were able to give an offering to the church at Jerusalem. Paul is stating here that they were able to do it at this time because of their abundance. They were able to supply the needs of the Jerusalem church. Now Paul is saying that someday, the Corinthians church might be in dire straits and the Jerusalem church may be able to take up an offering for them. That is the principle of equality in that at one point a Christian can help out another Christian, and then maybe in the future that Christian who was able to help, may need help himself and the Christian he helped will be able to help him. I have experienced this in my own life when I was almost completely out of funds when the Lord would raise someone to help me and in turn when my finances had improved, I have been able to help others. Please bear in mind that this is not the political scheme of one hand washing the other whereby someone seeks to gain advantage by doing someone a favor. The principle of equality is Christian helping Christian and not for some hidden agenda.
2 Cor 8:15 (KJB)
As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack.
(Exo 16:18 KJV) And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating. Paul takes an analogy from the book of Exodus where we read about God feeding the Israelites the Manna. They measured the amount by the Omer which was approximately two quarts. However, the exact amount of the weight was according to the appetite of the individual. The principle here is that it would meet the needs of each person perfectly. If one gathered too much it was just enough, if they gathered too little, it was just enough. This is the principle Paul was conveying to the Corinthians, that whatever they collected for the Jerusalem church would be enough to help with their situation. Whether it was a large donation or a smaller one, it was exactly what would be needed because it was God who motivated each giver to give a certain amount and whatever the total was, it was sufficient for the need.
2 Cor 8:16 (KJB)
But thanks be to God, which put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you.
Earnest care - Diligent or zealous concern
Paul had thanked God because it was God who placed in Titus the zealous concern for the Jerusalem church which stirred up the Corinthians to take up a generous offering. It must be noted, that there is a great difference between God placing the desire to give in a Christianís heart and the charlatans of today who practice the art of guilt manipulation. God places the desire to give inside the Christian, while the religious swindlers attempt to stir an emotional giving from the outside. So the true giver gives from the heart and the swindled Christian, gives from a motivation of emotion which comes from the outside and not from the heart. Emotion is what the religious swindlers bank on, literally.
2 Cor 8:17 (KJB)
For indeed he accepted the exhortation; but being more forward, of his own accord he went unto you.
He accepted - Received or approved
The exhortation - Encouragement
More forward - In haste or more diligent
Of his own accord - Voluntarily
Here we can learn a little bit from Titus about being motivated in our Christian walk. Paul had given Titus encouragement concerning finishing the offering project as we read in verse 6. Here Titus received the encouragement from the Apostle Paul, but the zeal of Titus caused him to go to the Corinthians voluntarily. Although, he received instruction from Paul, it was not needed because Titus had purposed in his heart to go to Corinth and finish the task of the offering for the Jerusalem church. This is good insight into self-motivation and self-starting in the Christian work. So many Christians do nothing because they are sitting around waiting for somebody else to motivate them rather being a self-starter and doing the Lordís work without having someone give them a pep talk. There are so many opportunities which await the Christian and not even far distances from our own homes. Every town or city has a main street where you can hand out tracts or set up a table and talk to those who pass by about the gospel. It may sound small, but do not despise the day of small things. (Zec 4:10 KJV) For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth. As you begin to show yourself responsible or capable in small ministry, God may widen your outreach according to your faithfulness. If you are not even motivated to do something small, donít expect God to give you something large.
2 Cor 8:18 (KJB)
And we have sent with him the brother, whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches;
Along with Titus was another brother who had been approved by the churches for such a task because he was highly regarded in the churches. No one knows who this brother was, some think it might have been Luke or Barnabas, but no matter, whoever he was, had a very good Christian testimony to the point that he was trusted with this task of helping with the collection. For one to be approved by the churches for this, one would have to have a really solid Christian testimony and have it be well-known throughout the region. In 1 Corinthians 16:3, Paul had stated that he would send whomever they approved. (1 Cor 16:3 KJV) And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem. Here again it was by letter of recommendation whomever the Corinthian church chose for this task. It is like legitimate credentials today preceding a person.