"Physical infirmity... "
Text: Galatians 4:13a
A PERSONAL GLIMPSE OF THE APOSTLE PAUL
When we read the Book of Acts or when we read the epistles of Paul we imagine a very strong person who probably has very robust health. On the contrary, Paul was not very strong where health was concerned.
You know that because of physical infirmity
I preached the gospel to you at the first.
And my trial which was in my flesh you did not
despise or reject, but you received me as an
angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.
1. “I preached the gospel to you at the first”
a) This is a reference to the time when Paul first ministered in Galatia.
b) His ministry was the preaching of the gospel (evangelism).
2. “Physical infirmity”
a) This must have been an obvious problem.
b) What exactly was this infirmity is not disclosed.
3. “My trial which was in my flesh”
a) This was another attempt to describe the “physical infirmity”.
b) It was a trial for the apostle Paul.
c) It must have been a severe enough problem to have been called “a trial which was in my flesh”.
4. The outstanding initial response of the Galatians
a) They did not despise Paul.
b) They did not reject him nor the word he preached.
c) They received Paul as if he was an angel of God.
d) They received Paul as they would have received the Lord Jesus had He come to them personally.
Paul did not merely preach the Gospel to the Galatians. He had developed a very strong and close relationship with them.
1. This reflected the way Paul typically ministered.
2. He maintained a very strong and healthy relationship with all the churches he founded.
He may have to sternly rebuke at times but he always maintained a close rapport with all the churches!