Galatians 1:11–24 (ESV)
Paul Called by God
For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel. 12 For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. 13 For you have heard of my former
life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it. 14 And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when he who had set me apart
before I was born, and who called me by his grace, 16 was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone; 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me,
but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.
18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and remained with him fifteen days. 19 But I saw none of the other apostles except
James the Lord’s brother. 20 (In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie!) 21 Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 22 And I was still unknown in person to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. 23 They only were hearing it
said, “He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they glorified God because of me.
Many have thought of Paul as a self-proclaimed Apostle, but
today’s reading he defends his calling. Paul knows that many are afraid of him because of his persecution of the church. God can change the hardest of hearts, and he changed Paul’s. He did not consult any other men, nor the apostles.
He simply followed God’s instructions. Luke records in the Book of Acts what the Lord told Annanias in Acts 9:15–17 (ESV) “15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles
and kings and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” 17 So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you
on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Paul’s life was changed and he was now working for the Lord. How did he learn so much to be an apostle? Verse 18
answers this question. He was instructed for three years by the Holy Spirit, then he began serving the Lord. Today’s reading is to defend his calling.
I pray: O Lord, you have called
me into the ministry to teach and preach the Gospel and to administer the sacraments. Help me to do so in a God pleasing way. Help me to focus on your Word, not on the influence of man. I pray for all my sheep who have been called to proclaim
Christ. Use us Lord. Amen.