“You know it was because of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you at first,” (Gal. 4:13)
What does Paul mean it was because of an ailment? The best answer is that due to this bodily affliction Paul had to extend his stay in that part of the world and while there he used the delay to preach the gospel to the people of Galatia.
Scholars have speculated for years as to the possible cause of Paul’s ailment. In 2 Cor. Paul refers to it as a splinter. Are they the same? Is this the thing for which Paul prayed that it might be removed? What we do know is that the Galatians were not set back by the illness. They accepted Paul and they accepted his teaching of the gospel.
In his effort to win them back to the true gospel Paul is reminding them of the relationship that existed between them at the first. Now they seem to be at odds but at the beginning of their friendship the Galatians were much taken by Paul and not bothered at all by the sickness. Instead, they listened to Paul and were persuaded that he was telling them the truth of God.
In the first chapter, Paul said they had received him as if he were an angel. Not only that but they were willing to do anything to help him recover from the ailment, so were they attached to him. He wants to rekindle that feeling.
Task for Today: Like Paul, we should take advantage of every situation and every opportunity to share the good news of Jesus. Find a way to use your present circumstance to talk about Jesus. In good or bad times, whether up or down, tell others about the one who saved you and can save them.