Tuesday, April 3, 2007


Greek Word Pronunciation: sun-EK-oh
Strong’s Number: 4912
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 5309
Key Verse: “… the love of Christ controls us.” -- 2 Corinthians 5:14

Sunexo is a compound word comprised of sun, “together,” and exo, “to hold.” Thus, it came to mean, a “holding together or compressing.” It was used metaphorically of “straits, distress, or anguish” and has a large variety of translations in both the Old and New Testaments.

Luke used this word 9 times out of the 12 occurrences in New Testament. Luke 4:38, Acts 28:8, and Matthew 4:24, all make reference to individuals suffering or being afflicted with various diseases. In Luke 8:37, the people were gripped with great fear. In Luke 8:45, people are crowding in on Jesus. In Luke 12:50, Jesus refers to the future baptism He is to undergo by saying “how distressed I am until it is accomplished.” In Luke 19:43, Jesus approached Jerusalem and spoke of her future enemies that would “surround you and hem you in on every side.” Luke 22:63 refers to the men who were “holding Jesus in custody.” In Acts 7:57, the people “covered (stopped) their ears and rushed” at Stephen to stone him.

In Acts 18:5, Paul began “devoting himself completely to the word.” (KJV translates as “pressed in the Spirit.”) Feeling “pressed” made Paul, more than ever, pressed in his preaching. In Philippians 1:23, Paul said “I am hard-pressed from both directions.” (KJV translates in a strait and NIV is torn between.) The idea is of a strong pressure bearing upon him from two sides, to live or to die and be with Christ.

In 2 CORINTHIANS 5:14, “The love of Christ controls us" (KJV translates constraineth and NIV is compels). The love which Christ has for man is the constraining power of Paul’s preaching. The love of Christ completely dominates Paul so that he has no option but to preach. On the basis of Christ’s death, the only natural decision for Paul (as for all other believers) is no longer to live for self, but to live for Jesus Christ.

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