Chapter 12 – A Thorn In The Flesh


Upon completion of this lesson you will be able to:

  • Write the Healing Promise from memory.

  • Identify who Paul’s thorn in the flesh was from.

  • Identify what the Bible indicates the thorn was.

  • Explain why it was permitted.

  • Describe what it did.

  • Summarize how it was manifested.

  • Explain the results of Paul’s thorn in the flesh.


In the last lesson you studied some traditions of men that create problems for believers seeking healing and deliverance. This lesson concerns a tradition which centers on Paul’s thorn in the flesh described in II Corinthians 12. Because it is so often debated and so critical to the healing issue, we have devoted an entire lesson to it.

Many people have been taught that Paul’s thorn was illness and that even as he prayed three times for it to depart without results, they are destined to have their own “thorn in the flesh” of sickness. Tradition says, “Your sickness is a thorn in the flesh like Paul’s and you will have to learn to live with it.”

The “thorn in the flesh” tradition is a major blockade which prevents many from receiving healing. It has been misused to try to explain why people did not receive a visible healing and as an excuse for our powerlessness. As you begin this lesson, lay aside everything you have been taught by man concerning this issue as we examine exactly what the Scriptures teach.

Read over the chapter study material and complete the self-test at the end. After this chapter is completed, mark complete and go to the next lesson.