Philippians 3:4– Trust in flesh?28-02-2023 - Posted by Hans
And am even I having confidence in flesh, also? If any other one is presuming to have confidence in flesh, I rather.
The “flesh” in question here is man in his bodily appearance. Usually the weakness and inability of the flesh is emphasized (“the flesh is weak”). That is not the issue here. Rather, Paul refers to people who put confidence in their appearance, their lineage and achievements.
Paul had unlearned this trust in flesh and he will clarify that later. But before he does, he goes along with the boasting of his opponents. Because he dares to compete with them with ease. If they boast of their religious achievements and endeavors, he easily outshines them.
Paul’s opponents were ‘Judaizers’, but not always Jews themselves. They pretended to be Jews. A similar movement is very active in Christianity today. Paul looks down on them: they are fake Jews who cannot even stand in his shadow. He himself was once a rising star within the Jewish world (Gal.1:14). So if there is one right to speak about ’trusting in the flesh’, it is Paul…