2 Corinthians 8:4 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

2 Corinthians 8:4, NIV: they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord's people.

2 Corinthians 8:4, ESV: begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints—

2 Corinthians 8:4, KJV: Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.

2 Corinthians 8:4, NASB: begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints,

2 Corinthians 8:4, NLT: They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem.

2 Corinthians 8:4, CSB: they begged us earnestly for the privilege of sharing in the ministry to the saints,

What does 2 Corinthians 8:4 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul has written that the believers in the region of Macedonia had given generously to meet the needs of the suffering Christians in Jerusalem. In spite of affliction and poverty, they gave beyond their means. Now Paul adds that they begged Paul and his companions to be included in the collection. They did not want to be left out of the opportunity to participate in providing relief to "the saints." This phrase is a reference to all saved Christians, not to some special class of believers.

Judging by the context here, perhaps Paul and those helping him raise these funds did not think to ask the suffering Christians in Macedonia to help out. It's possible they thought the Macedonian believers needed funds themselves in their extreme poverty. The Macedonians had to beg the apostle to be included in the opportunity to give and then surprised him with their great generosity. Paul gave the credit to God for giving them the grace to want to give to meet the needs of others.