Paul, listing his “burdens,” surprisingly adds “the care of the Churches!”
Yes, he is a Pastor at heart!
And he is comparing himself (unwisely, he thinks) to the false teachers who have come to Corinth, who DO NOT CARE for any Church, not really!
The noun “care” is unique here. It is “merimna,” really meaning “distraction, worry,” as much as “care.” The word is based on a root word, “merizo,” which means “to divide, separate.” And “merizo” is derived from “meros,” meaning a “part, portion.”
So here “care” means … something that “pulls” Paul “in different directions!”
He is deeply concerned about the Church at Corinth (to whom he is currently writing, of course) … but also burdened about the work at Philippi or Colossae!
Drawn different ways!
But he adds: “Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of ALL the churches.” 2nd Corinthians 11:28, note now the word ALL, please!
How many, for sure, we do not know.
Every Church the Apostle had established, or helped establish.
In decades of faithfully preaching the Word of God!
In reading Paul’s Letters one often finds this “care” (a heart torn as he “wondered” how the Believers at Thessalonica were doing) surfacing, again and again.
Here’s an example. “For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears. Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by THE COMING OF TITUS; and not by his coming only, but by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you, WHEN HE TOLD US your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind toward me; so that I rejoiced the more.” 2nd Corinthians 7:5-7
All Paul’s Christian life he “cared” about those Churches.
Oh, that we today still saw that kind of devotion!
— Dr. Mike Bagwell