2 Corinthians 12:14 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

2 Corinthians 12:14, NIV: Now I am ready to visit you for the third time, and I will not be a burden to you, because what I want is not your possessions but you. After all, children should not have to save up for their parents, but parents for their children.

2 Corinthians 12:14, ESV: Here for the third time I am ready to come to you. And I will not be a burden, for I seek not what is yours but you. For children are not obligated to save up for their parents, but parents for their children.

2 Corinthians 12:14, KJV: Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.

2 Corinthians 12:14, NASB: Here for this third time I am ready to come to you, and I will not be a burden to you; for I do not seek what is yours, but you; for children are not responsible to save up for their parents, but parents for their children.

2 Corinthians 12:14, NLT: Now I am coming to you for the third time, and I will not be a burden to you. I don't want what you have--I want you. After all, children don't provide for their parents. Rather, parents provide for their children.

2 Corinthians 12:14, CSB: Look, I am ready to come to you this third time. I will not burden you, since I am not seeking what is yours, but you. For children ought not save up for their parents, but parents for their children.

What does 2 Corinthians 12:14 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The issue of Paul's refusal to receive financial support for himself from the Corinthians has come up once again (1 Corinthians 9:11–12; 2 Corinthians 11:7–12). This is something they seem to have taken poorly, desiring to pay Paul in order not to leave their obligation to him unmet. He has insisted, however, that he not be a financial burden to them. This is partly because he does not want to give anyone a reason to question his motives for serving them as Christ's representative.

Now he writes that he will continue to insist on this when he comes to see them in person for the third time. The first time was when he came to Corinth and planted the church there (Acts 18:1–18). The second time was his "painful visit" which was resolved at the beginning of this letter. Paul is coming once more to, in part, receive their contribution to the suffering Christians in Jerusalem.

Paul restates once more his reason for not wanting to take any money for himself. He sees himself as their spiritual father in Christ. He doesn't want what is theirs. He wants them. As the parent in their spiritual relationship, he is the one who is obligated to provide for their needs, not the other way around. He seems to say that if they give him money for his personal needs, it will distort that parent-child relationship they share.

It's important to note that Paul is not, at all, indicating that spiritual leaders should never take support from those they serve. Quite the opposite view is presented in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 9:7–11; 1 Timothy 5:17–18).