While I was studying 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 blogging was easy. That paragraph is a listing of characteristics of the kind of love Paul is referring to. I have been going over these verses taking one word after the other. I have been studying other scripture verses that might shed light on the meaning of any of these characteristics of love.
Now verses 8-13 are different in structure. To capture the meaning of that section you have to consider these verses together.
Of course you can always do some word studies as I have done earlier. Yet this could easily lead astray. Going into too many details might make us miss the meaning of the paragraph.
I have spent some time thinking about these verses. I have come to the conclusion that the whole paragraph falls in line by considering verse 12 (or verses 10-12).
You might get lost in verse 8 reasoning about why such things as tongues, prophecies and knowledge would cease, fail or vanish away. Depending on your denominational preferences you may come to different conclusions.
Verse 12 tells us what Paul was thinking of when writing verse 8. Please take a moment to read verse 12:
“For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face; now I know in part; but then I shall know even as also I am known.” (KJV).
It is when we come to know God’s love more deeply that our previous experiences cease to be that important to us. We will begin to see things from a different angle.
This does not mean that we will finally have to dismiss all we can know about God in this life. Yet we will begin to understand and grasp more fully.
The purpose of Christian preaching and teaching is to help believers grow:
“until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants tossed back and forth by the waves and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. ” (Ephesians 4:13+14/NIV).
Towards the end of the book of Job, Job came to a deeper understanding of God’s greatness and of his love. He exclaimed:
“I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear; but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:5+6).
The apostle John was granted a glimpse into heaven. He was told how God in the end would show his love to his believers:
“And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away.” (Revelation 21:3+4/NIV)