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THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE GALATIANS - Chapter 1 - Verse 16

Verse 16. To reveal his Son in me. This is to be regarded as connected with the first part of Ga 1:15: "When it pleased God to reveal his Son in me," i.e., on the way to Damascus. The phrase evidently means, to make me acquainted with the Lord Jesus, or to reveal his Son to me. Comp. the Greek in Mt 10:32, for a similar expression. The revelation here referred to was the miraculous manifestation which was made to Paul on his way to Damascus. Compare 2 Co 4:6. That revelation was in order to convince him that he was the Messiah; to acquaint him with his nature, rank, and claims; and to qualify him to be a preacher to the heathen.

That I might preach him. In order that I might so preach him; or with a view to my being appointed to this work. This was the leading purpose for which Paul was converted, Ac 9:15; 22:21.

The heathen. The Gentiles; the portion of the world that was not Jewish, or that was destitute of the true religion.

Immediately. Koppe supposes that this is to be connected with, "I went into Arabia," Ga 1:17. Rosenmuller supposes it means, "Immediately I consented." Dr. Wells and Locke suppose that it refers to the fact that he immediately went to Arabia. But this seems to me to be an unnatural construction. The words are too remote from each other to allow of it. The evident sense is, that he was at once decided. He did not take time to deliberate whether he should or should not become a Christian. He made up his mind at once, and on the spot. He did not consult with any one; he did not ask advice of any one; he did not wait to be instructed by any one. He was convinced by the vision in an overpowering manner that Jesus was the Messiah, and he yielded at once. The main idea is, that there was no delay, no consultation, no deferring it, that he might see and consult with his friends, or with the friends of Christianity. The object for which he dwells on this is to show that he did not receive his views of the gospel from man.

I conferred not. I did not lay the case prosaneyemhn before any man; I did not confer with any one.

Flesh and blood. Any human being: for so the phrase properly signifies. See Barnes "Mt 16:17".

This does not mean here that Paul did not consult his own ease and happiness; that he was regardless of the sufferings which he might be called to endure; that he was willing to suffer, and was not careful to make provision for his own comforts which was true in itself; but that he did not lay the case before any man, or any body of men, for instruction or advice, he acted promptly and decisively, he was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, Ac 26:19 but resolved at once to obey. Many suppose that this passage means that Paul did not take counsel of the evil passions and suggestions of his own heart, or of the feelings which would have prompted him to lead a life of ambition, or a life under the influence of corrupt desires. But however true this was in fact, no such thing is intended here. It means simply that he did not take counsel of any human being, he resolved at once to follow the command of the Saviour, and at once to obey him. The passage shows,

(1.) that when the Lord Jesus calls us to follow him, we should promptly and decidedly obey.

(2.) We should not delay even to take counsel of earthly friends, or wait for human advice, or consult their wishes, but should at once resolve to follow the Lord Jesus. Most persons, when they are awakened to see their guilt, and their minds are impressed on the subject of religion, are prone to defer it; to resolve to think of it at some future time; or to engage in some other business before they become Christians; or, at least, they wish to finish what they have on hand before they yield to God. Had Paul pursued this course, he would probably never have become a Christian. It follows, therefore,

(3.) that when the Lord Jesus calls us, we should at once abandon any course of life, however pleasant, or any plan of ambition, however brilliant, or any scheme of gain, however promising, in order that we may follow him. What a brilliant career of ambition did Paul abandon! and how promptly and decidedly did he do it! tie did not pause or hesitate a moment; but, brilliant as were his prospects, he at once forsook all—paused in mid-career in his ambition—and, without consulting a human being, at once gave his heart to God. Such a course should be pursued by all. Such a promptness and decision will prepare one to become an eminent Christian, and to be eminently useful.

{a} "reveal his Son" 2 Co 4:6 {*} "in me" "to me" {b} "that I might" Ac 9:15 {c} "not with flesh and blood" 2 Co 5:16

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