And this they did, not as we expected, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.
All Commentaries on 2 Corinthians 8:5 Go To 2 Corinthians 8
Cornelius a Lapide
Not as we hoped They gave much more than we expected.
But first gave their own selves to the Lord and unto us. They first surrendered themselves to the will of God and then to ours, to do and give whatever I wished.
Observe here that they who give alms ought, if they are to do it properly, first to give their hearts to God, and in token that they have so surrendered themselves to Him, they ought then to give alms, as tribute paid to Him.
By the will of God. God wishes people to follow our directions, and regard our wish as His, and us as the interpreters of His will, so what we will God also wills to be done by those under us. He Himself says: "He that heareth you heareth Me" (Anselm and Theophylact).