"Lest by any means I might run, or had run, in vain."
Text: Galatians 2:2b
USE OF IMAGERY
Paul used imagery in his writings. One of them is found in this text.
And I went up by revelation, and communicated
to them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles,
but privately to those who were of reputation,
lest by any means I might run, or had run, in vain.
1. Public meeting
a) Paul and Barnabas led a small team from the Church at Antioch, Syria to meet up with the leaders in the Church at Jerusalem (Acts 15:2-3).
b) There was a controversy concerning the matter of circumcision.
i) Some Jews from Jerusalem had come to Antioch to insist that circumcision was a necessity.
ii) Paul resisted this doctrine as a wrong understanding of the gospel of Christ.
iii) They could not resolve this dispute on their own in Antioch, Syria.
iv) The Church in Antioch decided to send Paul and Barnabas and a small team to the Church in Jerusalem to consult with the apostles and elders.
c) They were well received when they visited Jerusalem (Acts 15:4).
d) They gave an account of the things that God had done with them (Acts 15:4).
2. Private meeting
a) Paul met up with the church leaders (apostles and elders).
b) This would be a natural development.
c) However this fact was not recorded in the Book of Acts.
d) It was noted here in Paul’s letter to the Galatians.
3. Some personal thoughts
a) “Lest by any means I might run, or had run, in vain”
i) Paul used the imagery of running (a foot race).
ii) He understood that there were “rules” to be kept in a foot race.
iii) If he failed to observe these rules, his efforts might well end up being in vain.
b) Meeting up with the church leaders
This would at least ensure that the problem with the false teachers would not be compounded by a lack of full communication with them. At best, they would endorse Paul’s ministry to the Gentiles.