1 Corinthians 16:5-12 But I will come to you after I go through Macedonia, for I am going through Macedonia; and perhaps I will stay with you, or even spend the winter, so that you may send me on my way wherever I may go. For I do not wish to see you now just in passing; for I hope to remain with you for some time, if the Lord permits. But I will remain in Ephesus until Pentecost; for a wide door for effective service has opened to me, and there are many adversaries. Now if Timothy comes, see that he is with you without cause to be afraid, for he is doing the Lord’s work, as I also am. So let no one despise him. But send him on his way in peace, so that he may come to me; for I expect him with the brethren. But concerning Apollos our brother, I encouraged him greatly to come to you with the brethren; and it was not at all his desire to come now, but he will come when he has opportunity. NKJV
Paul now informs them of his travel plans and his desire to come back to them physically to see them in person and reacquaint names with faces. Paul’s plans were to first go to Macedonia and then from there to journey on to Corinth. Paul never knew too far in advance where God the Holy Spirit would lead him next on his journeys, but like any person made his own plans but yet was always opened to God changing or rerouting his course of travel. Paul tells them here in this ending portion of his letter, that his heart’s desire was to come to them and even spend the entire winter there with them. Paul did not want to just pass through for a short time, but most assuredly because of all the issues he has addressed in this letter correcting their wrong worship, their envy, strife, and jealousy, their sexual immorality, their drunkenness during the Lord’s Supper, etc. it was his earnest desire to stay with them for some extended length of time to personally instruct and command them according to the Word of God and also pray with them often.
It appears from the documentation of Dr. Luke as he wrote in the Book of Acts that Paul actually did exactly what he purposed as it was our Lord Jesus’ plan for Paul to go there and stay a while as it is written here by Dr. Luke, “After the uproar had ceased, Paul sent for the disciples, and when he had exhorted them and taken his leave of them, he left to go to Macedonia. When he had gone through those districts and had given them much exhortation, he came to Greece. And there he spent three months, and when a plot was formed against him by the Jews as he was about to set sail for Syria, he decided to return through Macedonia” (Acts 20:1-3). Note (from the Holman Bible Dictionary): Corinth was located on the southwest end of the isthmus that joined the southern part of the Greek peninsula with the mainland to the north. For a century (about 350 to 250 B.C.) Corinth was the largest and most prosperous city of mainland Greece.
Paul informs them that he is currently in Ephesus (where he is writing this letter) and he will remain there to observe Pentecost. The fact that the gospel had made some inroads there in Ephesus was also the reason Paul desired to stay there for the celebration despite the many enemies of the Cross of Christ he encountered. Paul made plans to stay there a little longer because he saw powerful opportunities being given there by the Holy Spirit’s Power to see men and women receive Christ. Paul gives them instruction regarding Brother Timothy and it is perhaps do to Timothy’s youth that Paul tells them to treat him as they would himself. Paul in writing to Timothy encouraged him to not allow anyone to look down upon him because he was young (1 Timothy 4:12) and with these words to the Corinthian believers he wanted them to see Timothy as he saw him and to make him feel welcomed as they would Paul.
Apollos finding himself as a source or reason (not of his own doing) of the divisions, tensions, and strife that went on in this congregation of believers (1 Corinthians 1:12 & 1 Corinthians 3:4-6 & 1 Corinthians 4:1-6) did not want to journey back there at this time and add more fuel to the flames of division, but wanted to wait perhaps until Paul had visited them in person and then he would go back to them. Paul, however, earnestly desired to come to them as soon as he was able and wanted to come to them “in love” and not with a rod of correction as an earthly father does his children as he declared to them even earlier on in this letter with these words, “For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me. For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, just as I teach everywhere in every church. Now some have become arrogant, as though I were not coming to you. But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant but their power. For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power. What do you desire? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love and a spirit of gentleness?” (1 Corinthians 4:15-21).
“Paul had a purpose of coming to Corinth, and staying there, and hoped to do good thereby. This was not a purpose proceeding from any extraordinary motion or impulse of the Spirit of God; it was not the effect of inspiration; for had it been such he could not have spoken of it in this manner. A purpose formed thus in him must have been the purpose of God, signified to him by His Spirit; and could he say he would come to Corinth upon this view only, if God permit, that is, that he would execute God’s own purpose concerning himself, with God’s permission?” Matthew Henry
“Let no one despise Timothy on account of his youth and inexperience. It is probable that some of the more wealthy and proud, some who valued themselves on their wisdom and experience, would be disposed to look upon him with contempt. On another occasion, he directed Timothy so to live as that no one should have occasion to despise him on account of his youth 1 Timothy 4:12; and he here urges on the Corinthians, that they should not despise him because he was a young man, and comparatively inexperienced.” Albert Barnes
“Paul was always wanting to return to these believers in Corinth as quickly as possible to do and say whatever it took to see Christ formed in them and to see an end put to the envy, lawsuits, strife, and jealousy that created major divisions within their fellowship.” Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…