Paul Defends His Ministry
1:16b-17 Now Paul affirms that he was free from human influence after his conversion as he was before it! Paul met with other followers, but did not consult them on doctrine. If he wanted to discuss doctrine, he would have surely gone to Jerusalem and set up shop with the apostles. Instead, he went immediately to Arabia. He most likely did not go to evangelize or plant churches, but to isolate himself to the Lord for study, pray and to receive further revelation from God. It was in Arabia that Paul received the Gospel of Jesus Christ that would be preached forever.
1:18-20 Only after spending three years in Arabia and Damascus did Paul finally make his way to see the apostles, but only meets with Peter. He spent 15 days with Peter and it was more of a personal gathering and not a discussion on doctrine. Paul mentions that he met James, the brother of Jesus.
Because of Judaizer's accusations that Paul had misrepresented his relationship with the apostles, Paul put himself on oath, calling God to be his witness that he was telling the truth.
1:21-22 Paul now informs them that he wasn't commissioned by the apostles nor under their oversight, that he was in Syria and Cilicia, too far to be in constant communication with Peter and the other apostles. Paul would not have been known in Judean churches.
1:23-24 This was a telling blow to the false teachers and accusers of Paul. The Jewish Christians in Judea rejoiced in the same gospel the Judaizers sought to undermine. The church in Judea has forgotten about Paul, but began to hear reports that a former persecutor of the church had begun preaching the gospel he once tried to destroy... the very gospel he was reminding the Galatians that they were turning from.
What does God want to teach us through this scripture?