Benediction


Paul’s Wishes (II Corinthians 13:11)

            All that remains for Paul is to express:

          His wish for their joy. It is the echoing of a point from the beginning of this letter (II Corinthians 1:24) and similar to what Paul told others (Philippians 4:4; I Thessalonians 5:16).

          His desire that they become complete in the sense of something that has been repaired or restored (I Corinthians 1:10; Hebrews 13:21; I Peter 5:10).

          His wanting them to come near for encouragement. Whether it is to take comfort from Paul’s words or to encourage each other is debated. But again, it echoes Paul’s statement at the beginning of the letter (II Corinthians 1:4-6; 7:13; II Thessalonians 2:16-17).

          His desire that they be of one mind about each other (Romans 12:16; 15:5-6). Paul is praying that they be in fellowship (Acts 2:42; 4:32; Philippians 1:27; 2:1-2; 3:16; I Peter 3:8), just as Jesus prayed (John 17:21-23).

          And they need to live in peace with each other (Romans 12:18; Ephesians 4:3; I Thessalonians 5:13; Hebrews 12:14)..

Doing so they would see God, who is love and peace, being with them (Romans 15:33; Philippians 4:9; I Thessalonians 5:23; II Thessalonians 3:16; I John 4:8-16).


A holy kiss (II Corinthians 13:12).

            Paul asks that he pass on his greeting to each other with a holy kiss (Romans 16:16; I Corinthians 16:20; I Thessalonians 5:26; I Peter 5:14). Paul does not state that a kiss is the only form of greeting. We find greetings in the form of a wave or gesture of the hand and the clasping of hands (Acts 21:40). Paul said that James, Peter, and John ”gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship” (Galatians 2:9). Greetings are mentioned throughout the Bible and it appears that a kiss was a common greeting between close acquaintances. When Judas betrayed Jesus, "Immediately he went up to Jesus and said, "Greetings, Rabbi!" and kissed Him" (Matthew 26:49). In this particular case we would have no problem stating that Judas' greeting was not done with a holy kiss; he greeted Christ with impure motives. Similarly, the soldiers mocking Jesus greeted him on bended knees and saluting him (Matthew 27:29; Mark 15:18), but it wasn't sincere or holy. These negative cases show that greetings can be good or bad and were done in a variety of ways. The emphasis should not be on the kiss, but only the holiness of the greeting.


Passing on “Hello” (II Corinthians 13:13)

            The saints mentioned are the Christians in Macedonia where Paul is at currently; most likely Philippi.


Well-Wishes (II Corinthians 13:14)

            Note that this verse mentions each member of the Godhead: Jesus Christ, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit. The grace of Jesus refers to the undeserving gift that he gave us (Romans 16:24; I Corinthians 16:23). Likely Paul mentions Jesus first because that is how we come to God’s love (John 14:6). God’s love for His creation is also well-known (John 3:16; Ephesians 6:23). And fellowship with the Spirit (Philippians 2:1; Romans 8:9; I Corinthians 3:16; 6:19; I John 3:24).