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Galatians 4:13,14 – Received as Christ Jesus

31-08-2022 - Posted by Hans

Now you are aware that during an infirmity of the flesh I bring the evangel to you formerly. And your trial in my flesh, you do not scorn, neither do you loathe it, but as a messenger of God you receive me, as Christ Jesus.

The apostle remembers with great gratitude the manner in which he was once received in the province of Galatia. It is the time described in Acts 13 and 14, when Paul was working in the area of ​​Pisidia (Antioch, Iconium, Lystra and Derbe). Paul’s readers remembered only too well that he had evangelized them “during an infirmity of the flesh.” If we take this literally, it means that Paul was held up by illness and therefore ‘lingered’ in Galatia. Luke is silent about Paul’s condition in those days, although some have suggested that Paul’s stoning in Lystra (Acts 14:19) may have had something to do with it.

Be that as it may, Paul’s weakness was not seized by the Galatians to scorn him or spit him out. On the contrary, they received him as a “messenger of God”. His message to them was obviously of Divine origin. In fact, to them he was even “as Christ Jesus”. That may seem exaggerated, but indeed Christ appeared through Paul as the “light of the nations” (Acts 13:47)!