An Unexpected Pulpit

I was really impressed with Gal. 4:13-14 which says, “You know it was because of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you at first, and though my condition was a trial to you, you did not scorn or despise me, but received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus.”

A couple of observations here include: 1) Paul did not intend to go to Galatia until he was sick. That means God used his ailment for the spreading of the Gospel! 2) Paul’s sickness apparently made him hard to look at! Something about his illness made him repulsive. It would have been easy to shun him, instead they welcomed him with open arms. 3) Even though Paul was sick, he still was able to interact with the Galatians. Paul was sick, but not sick enough to stop spreading the Gospel. 4) As Wuest mentions, “His sick chamber was his pulpit.” Paul did not take a “woe is me” attitude, but seized the opportunity to continue spreading the Gospel.

Lenski has also observed, “He could not remain and work in Perga which lay in the lowlands, he had to seek the higher elevations; Antioch and the Galatian region lay over 3,000 feet above sea level. Here Paul could hope to work even while he was sick, could gradually shake off his illness and then later on evangelize Perga—the very thing he did.”

Father, it is amazing that you worked in Paul’s life to the point that you used even illness to direct him where you wanted him to go. He had no intention of going to the Galatians, but you superseded the events to allow Paul to become sick so that he needed to seek relief in the area of Galatia.

Forgive me for losing sight of how you can use all the circumstances of my life to lead me and accomplish your will. Thank you for being intimately involved in my life.

Following Jesus with you,

Jeff

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