The letter to the churches in Galatia begins this way: “Paul, an apostle—not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father…” A harmless enough of a greeting clearly indicating to us that Paul wrote the letter. An Apostle, a messenger in the ranks of the other apostles that were minister too and with Jesus himself. It is what comes next that caught my attention this morning.
Paul’s credibility, his authority to write to and pastor these churches, is “not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father.” This is Paul’s resume. This is the plaque that hangs in his office. Men have not granted him authority, God has.
This is totally okay for Paul to say. Because we believe it. The proof is in his ministry. In his Spirit-inspired writing. In his martyr’s death. But we would never be comfortable making this claim let alone believing it. Now, we could spend another post on the people who make such bold claims (often to be unchallenged or manipulate) and we could agree they are most often crazy or sinister. But there is truth here in Paul’s words for ministers, and anyone that claims Christ.
Whatever you are facing today. Whatever the hard situation and conversation you find yourself in. When in comes to proclaiming Jesus, your credibility is granted to you through Jesus Christ and God the Father. In this reality we are not arrogant but instead utterly humbled by the divine authority present when we “make much of Jesus.”
Some of us have degrees hanging in our offices that human’s have granted, some of us have the certificate of “best Daddy in the world” our kids painted for us. No matter; if you proclaim Christ, you do it with credibility not from men.
Take that and go preach Jesus.