Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Galatians Journal: Chapter 2, verse 1

Galatians 2:1 Fourteen years later I went up again to Jerusalem, this time with Barnabas. I took Titus along also.

“14 years later” After his conversion, Paul had been active and passionate in his ministry to the Gentiles. A tremendous amount of history had passed (indeed, all the way from Acts 9 through Acts 15!) In Acts 13, Paul had been commissioned by God, along with Barnabas, as ministers to the Gentiles, and were sent out under the authority and covering of the Antioch church. They accomplished what tradition has come to call the First Missionary Journey. Paul was now established as an apostolic leader. Yet, he was willing, and was even compelled in his Spirit, to go to Jerusalem again.

He mentions that this time, Barnabas is with him, as well as Titus. Why? This only serves to continue to emphasize that everything about the Kingdom of God is connected to RELATIONSHIPS. There is no mention of traveling companions in his first trip to Jerusalem. That’s not to say that Paul went alone the first time. But I think this speaks to spiritual maturity. Paul has deepened his personal walk and relationship with these particular brothers, and they minister together, functioning in real body ministry. Paul needs Barnabas and Titus to do God’s work. Paul can’t succeed on his own – this is a weakness made into a strength by the Lord.

Bringing Titus along, and having Titus as a close personal friend and brother in the Lord is doubly important because of the issue of race and ethnicity. Barnabas was a Jew by birth, but Titus was a Gentile (see 2:3). Paul was practicing what he preached.

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