Hespeler, 5 February, 2017 © Scott McAndless
Galatians 1:13-24, 2:11-14, Philippians 3:4b-11, Psalm 37:1-13
aul of Tarsus was a very angry young man. When he first blasts onto the scene of the early Christian church in the Book of Acts he is described as “breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord.” (Acts 9:1) His persecution of the church, which, by all the accounts, was ruthless and brutal, is probably the clearest example of what could happen when he allowed his anger to run away from him. But his anger was not, as we often assume, just connected to his rejection of what he saw as the new and heretical Christian faith.
Even after Saul encountered the risen Jesus for himself, embraced the Christian faith and even changed his name and started to be known as Paul, his anger could still burn very hot and could be destructive even though his passion was now directed towards the positive message of the Christian gospel.
We read this morning, in Paul’s own words, the account of the time that he got very, very angry with a man who may have been the most important person in the early church. Paul calls him, in his letter to the Galatians, Cephas. But that is just the Aramaic form of a nam