7 and not only by his coming, but also by the consolation with which he was comforted in you, when he told us of your earnest desire, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced even more.
Verse seven describes Paul’s team’s response to the Titus favorable report from Corinth.
7 and not only by his coming,
Paul received encouragement from Titus’ coming with an excellent report from the Corinthian church, but he received something more.
but also by the consolation with which he was comforted in you,
The Corinthians welcomed Titus to their church and, by implication, Paul’s message of rebuke to them. The renewal of friendship between Paul and his team and the Corinthian church brought comfort to both parties.
when he told us of your earnest desire,
Titus described the Corinthian repentance by three ideas in this verse: “earnest desire,” “mourning,” and “zeal” for Paul.
Titus told Paul of the Corinthians’ earnest desire to see him. The church had more than regret for what they had done, but they carried a longing desire to see the apostle again.
The “mourning” here is the regret that the Corinthian church had about their treatment of Paul.
your zeal for [toward] me,
The church was fervent in their “zeal” for Paul (2 Co 7:11).
so that I rejoiced even more.
This was rejoicing beyond the mere fact that the Corinthian church received Paul’s rebuke positively; it was the fact that zeal or enthusiasm in doing so.
Reconciliation among believers takes two sides.
Paul had invested two years of his life in the Corinthian congregation, but they rewarded him with disloyalty, undermining, and attacks on his character. They permitted false teachers to influence their thinking with lies and distortions about his ministry. All this wounded the apostle deeply. Yet, all of this was resolved by reconciliation between the parties.