As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you, and even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself.
Thoughts for Today:The two verses of our passage today contain a couple of points that Bible scholars have hotly contested over the years. They are the nature of Paul's illness and the number of times he had visited the region of Galatia.
I am always amazed at how much can be made of simple statements. Paul had an illness which apparently was challenging and severe enough for it to be considered a trial not only for Paul, but his hosts as well. Was it malaria, an eye condition (verse 15), recovery from injuries previously suffered, or something else? Paul also wrote, "I first preached the Gospel to you." So did Paul write Galatians after his first, second or third missionary expeditions? If the third is accepted, then Galatians would have been written much later than many scholars have long believed.
However, the answer to any of these questions adds nothing to Paul's message, and therefore are irrelevant to his primary point. What is it? The Galatians had first welcomed him with open and loving arms -- even when he was a lot less lovable. Why would they now reject him? Neither Paul nor the Gospel had changed. On the other hand, because of the way they were now rejecting both him personally and his message, it was clear that the Galatians were being inconsistent.
Questions to Ponder:Have you continued to be consistent in your faithfulness? Has anything changed recently? What is it? Have you lost some of your vigor, enthusiasm, discipline or perhaps returned to sinful habits of the past? Take a moment and pray now. Repent and ask the Lord for His forgiveness and help.