It seems that if someone shows up preaching quite another Jesus than we preached - different spirit, different message - you put up with him quite nicely.
But if you put up with these big-shot "apostles," why can't you put up with simple me? I'm as good as they are.
It's true that I don't have their voice, haven't mastered that smooth eloquence that impresses you so much. But when I do open my mouth, I at least know what I'm talking about. We haven't kept anything back. We let you in on everything.
I wonder, did I make a bad mistake in proclaiming God's Message to you without asking for something in return, serving you free of charge so that you wouldn't be inconvenienced by me?
It turns out that the other churches paid my way so that you could have a free ride.
Not once during the time I lived among you did anyone have to lift a finger to help me out. My needs were always supplied by the Christians from Macedonia province. I was careful never to be a burden to you, and I never will be, you can count on it.
With Christ as my witness, it's a point of honor with me, and I'm not going to keep it quiet just to protect you from what the neighbors will think.
It's not that I don't love you; God knows I do.
I'm just trying to keep things open and honest between us.
They're a sorry bunch - pseudo-apostles, lying preachers, crooked workers - posing as Christ's agents but sham to the core.
And no wonder! Satan does it all the time, dressing up as a beautiful angel of light.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)