Practical Proverbial, from Galatians, 2 February 2022. Today’s topic: Tense Beginnings

James, Cephas and John, those esteemed as pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised.  Galatians 2:9 (NIV).

At the start, this meeting must have been tense.   After all, Paul’s reputation had preceded him.   He had been a particularly eager persecutor of the church only to be converted through an appearance by Jesus.   After that, for over fourteen years, he had been a missionary and church planter, starting more churches and personally spreading the Gospel further than anyone else ever had (maybe ever has).  He had the reputation for being strident, knowledgeable, irascible. 

And then there were the Apostles themselves.   James, Peter, and John:   three of Jesus’ closest friends, advisors, confidants, followers.   One of that group was Jesus’ blood relative, someone who had known Jesus long before he revealed Himself as the Son of God; his brother was someone who had seen Jesus through the years of which we know nothing about His life, before the others were even approached.   They had followed Jesus in the three-year walking seminary that was the life of a vagabond rabbi.   They had abandoned Him the day He died, and wept and worshipped Him when He resurrected three days later.  And they had been the first people to stand up and proclaim Christ crucified to the Jewish leadership which thought it had vanquished Him.

Strong personalities; deep back-stories; long and far-reaching consequences.  It must have been a tense moment when these men finally met face to face, someone waiting to break the ice.   Yet break the ice they did, so much that it didn’t take long for the entire group to see and proclaim that Jesus’ ministry and His church would grow far wider and better if they endorsed Paul’s work throughout the Mediterranean as he endorsed their work with the traditional flock in Judea.  Where there could have been division and discord, instead, Jesus’ Spirit grew fellowship and friendship, and then grew numbers.

The Apostles who started the Christian church weren’t superheroes.   They didn’t have innate supernatural abilities, and they weren’t college-educated, tenured, or vocationally experienced subject experts (like so many in our world today…just ask them…they’ll tell you!).  What they did have was the love and mission of Jesus planted deep in their hearts, motivating them to share what they knew of Jesus with a world that desperately needed to hear it.   They had met Him; they knew Him; they unconditionally followed Him.   And He prospered their words and work so much that we are talking about them two thousand years later, no matter how tense things were back when it all began.

For further reading: Acts 15:13, 1 Timothy 3:15, Revelation 3:12, Galatians 2:10

Lord, use the tension in my day today to further Your purpose and Your mission.

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Published by aspiringwriterdt

It's about's about the life He gives's about going day by's about you. It's not about me.

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