Someone seems to have been telling the Galatian Christians that Paul wasn’t so great after all. In fact, they said that their message was better than his!
Such a claim could easily start a fight, and often does these days. But Paul didn’t write this letter to the Galatians just to prove that he was right. He wrote because he knew two very important things:
(1) He had received his message directly from the Lord. God revealed this great Gospel to him. He certainly didn’t think it up himself! He had the authority to speak as he did.
(2) Any alternative message would destroy the Christians at Galatia. It would undermine the truth, and the churches there would end up in disastrous chaos. He had to warn them before it was too late.
Look at some of the amazing things Paul says about how he came to know and experience this Gospel concerning the Lord Jesus Christ. He says in verse 11 that it is not man’s gospel. In other words, it is not a message that has a human origin.
Then he says in verse 12 that no other person told it to him, or taught it to him. To the contrary, he came by this message as a result of a direct revelation from (or of) Jesus Himself.
Something comes as a revelation to us when we see clearly that which we have never seen before, or that which perhaps we never even thought existed. It may come as a great surprise or as a great shock, depending on what it is.
Certainly Paul got a terrible shock when he was confronted by Jesus on the road that day. It was a revelation to him because he didn’t believe that the man Jesus was the Son of God.
In fact he had been murdering the Christians for believing and teaching that very thing, and he had thought he was doing God a favour! What a shock to discover that Jesus really was the Messiah, the promised Saviour of the world.
The point is: no-one could ever have convinced Paul by trying to persuade him that this was true. He probably would have had them killed for trying!
But he came to see that it was true, only because God revealed it to him—in his case, by means of a powerful vision.