Galatians 4:12-14 (JDV)
Galatians 4:12 I beg you, brothers: Become like me, since I also became like you. Do not wrong me;
Galatians 4:13 you know that it was because of a physical weakness that I announced the gospel to you formerly.
Galatians 4:14 You did not treat my time of physical testing with rejection or revulsion. On the contrary, you welcomed me as a messenger of God, as Christ Jesus himself.
the hurt of rejection
Paul had experienced the joy of welcome by the Galatians, and the added joy of a successful ministry there. But now things are different. Oddly enough, his time of welcome came when he was fresh into his missionary work, still having to live up to the stigma of having been radically against the church and the gospel until his dramatic conversion. Added to that, he entered the region with a severe illness. He called it his time of physical testing. It was just as much a test of the Galatians as it was of Paul. Would they accept the message from this broken messenger? They did. They had welcomed him as a messenger of God – which he literally was.
But now things had changed. A group of heretics had taken hold of the Galatian congregations, and they were discrediting Paul and his team. There is no hurt quite like the hurt of being discredited and ignored by those who once welcomed and trusted you.
Lord, we pray for those who have been wronged in their churches. Please give them strength and help them get through this terrible time, and bring healing and restoration to them.