“Of course, it goes without saying that…” It’s a slightly ironic and completely self-contradicting statement. If it doesn’t require saying, then why say it? This is an idiom that is often used in conversation to imply that the statement to follow is so completely obvious that it shouldn’t have to be asked, but for some reason does. That reason is most often, that somebody lacks confidence in either themselves or others that requires the obvious to be clearly stated. This could be the title for 1 Corinthians 16. On several matters, Paul must state the obvious because he is lacking in confidence in his own relationships or assumptions about the Corinthians, or he is worried that they will fall short.
So when it comes to taking up a collection for the Lord’s people upon his arrival, Paul wants to make sure that they are already setting money aside every week for the purpose of giving to those in need. Around this time there was a serious famine in Israel and it is likely that Paul is travelling through the Greek churches collecting donations to help those who are struggling. It certainly doesn’t hurt Gentile/Jewish relations in the church to have the Gentile churches giving to the Jewish Christians in need. So Paul writes, it goes without saying, that you should already be setting aside some money for the Lord’s people. This was most likely in addition to the money already being given to the Lord for the work of the church, care of its own needy, and other gifts to God.
Then Paul moves on to discuss the level of hospitality and cooperation that he expects them to show to Timothy and Apollos. Essentially, “It goes without saying that you will treat my co-workers well and give them the help, resources and support that a preacher of the Gospel deserves.” Paul’s statements also serve as a letter of commendation and introduction to those individuals. Certainly, they will be treated well. After all…it goes without saying, Corinth will do the right thing.