In today’s epistle, Apostle Paul says that he preached the Gospel to the Galatians. By this, he refers to his teaching and doesn’t mean the four Gospels that were not written when he sent this epistle to the Galatians. Then he says that he didn’t receive this teaching from any man or from one of the twelve apostles but he received it directly from the Lord through a revelation that the Lord revealed to him.

He proves this by saying that when he was in the way of life of Judaism, he intensely persecuted the Church of God and destroyed it. We know that from the book of Acts where he said it. When the Lord appeared to him on his way from Jerusalem to Damascus, he transformed him into a unique disciple for him in his enthusiasm, loyalty, capacity of work and depth in theology.

Paul felt when the Lord appeared to him on the road to Damascus that God set him apart and chose him from the womb of his mother to be a disciple and the Father called him through his grace to reveal his son in him so that he would preach him among Gentiles. And later he took a delegation from the disciples to do this job: “my immediate response was not to consult any human being” and this means that he didn’t behave according to human reactions but gave his soul to Jesus’ voice and order.

Paul knew that it is important to contact the apostles to unite himself with them and not to take from them an authority as he has already taken that directly from Christ. He clarifies that from Damascus he went to Arabia. And interpreters believe that this land is “Houran” and it was called Arabia under the Roman administration.

What did he do there? Maybe he found a few Christians and lived with them because Houran is not far from Damascus. There is no doubt that he used to pray and stay alone with his Lord that revealed to him the truths of faith, and this confirms what he said at the beginning of the epistle.

Then he says: “After three years, I went up to Jerusalem”. He didn’t spend any time in Jerusalem after becoming a Christian. The purpose of going there after such a long time was to visit Peter. This means that he knew that Peter didn’t leave Palestine during the years that Paul spent in Arabia. Paul knew that somehow. So he said: “I stayed with him fifteen days. I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord’s brother” (i.e. Lord Jesus’ relative).

What did Paul do there? Without any doubt, he used to pray with Peter every day and talk together about theology.

In addition to that, this means that the rest of the apostles had left Palestine to the lands of preaching. We don’t read in the book of Acts that Paul succeeded in contacting any of them, and then we see him in a relationship with Peter in Antioch.

We conclude from these words that Paul tried to stay close to the apostles. We stay with the Church of the apostles which is our Church. We cannot live away from the brothers. They are the body of Christ.

Translated by Mark Najjar

Original Text: “مِن سيرة بولس” –Raiati 43- 23.10.2011