If someone . . . preaches a [false] Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, . . . you [wrongly] put up with it. 2 Corinthians 11:4
The buzz in the room faded to a comfortable silence as the book club leader summarized the novel the group would discuss. My friend Joan listened closely but didn’t recognize the plot. Finally, she realized she had read a nonfiction book with a similar title to the work of fiction the others had read. Although she enjoyed reading the “wrong” book, she couldn’t join her friends as they discussed the “right” book.
The apostle Paul didn’t want the Corinthian believers in Jesus to believe in a “wrong” Jesus. He pointed out that false teachers had infiltrated the church and presented a different “Jesus” to them, and they had swallowed the lies (2 Corinthians 11:3–4).
Paul denounced the heresy of these phony teachers. In his first letter to the church, however, he’d reviewed the truth about the Jesus of Scripture. This Jesus was the Messiah who “died for our sins . . . was raised on the third day . . . and then [appeared] to the Twelve,” and finally to Paul himself (1 Corinthians 15:3–8). This Jesus had come to earth through a virgin named Mary and was named Immanuel (God with us) to affirm His divine nature (Matthew 1:20–23).
Does this sound like the Jesus you know? Understanding and accepting the truth written in the Bible about Him assures us that we’re on the spiritual path that leads to heaven.
How do you know that you believe the truth about Jesus? What might you need to investigate to make sure you understand what the Bible says about Him?
Dear God, help me to walk in the light of Your truth.
For further study, read In Pursuit of Jesus: Who He Is and Why It Matters.
The apostle Paul was careful to protect those he’d been privileged to influence for Jesus, which explains the tone and language we find in 2 Corinthians 10–13. We see this same fierce posture of protection in Galatians 1:1–9 as well. Paul was “jealous” (2 Corinthians 11:2) for the believers’ stability and well-being in their faith in Jesus, and where their belief and conduct were jeopardized, he pulled no punches. The apostle countered the unhealthy persuasion of those he sarcastically referred to as “super-apostles” (v. 5; 12:11). His words are cautionary (11:5–11), a warning for those who are more impressed with style and method than substance. A key word in verses 13–15 (used three times) is metaschēmatizō, which is translated “masquerade/masquerading.” It’s a compound word meaning “to transfigure, to transform.” It describes people who are not who they appear to be.