Galatians 1: 18-19. “Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother.”
It was three full years before Paul ventured up to Jerusalem to visit the revered Peter. The only other apostle he saw there was James, the brother of Christ, and the pastor of the Jerusalem church.
What a meeting that must have been! These two men, very different in their personalities and their styles, were both destined to do great things, and to become martyrs for the cause of Christ.
Surely Peter had heard of Paul by now, the one who gave himself to persecution of the church only to meet Jesus Christ on the Damascus Road and become an apostle, one of the anointed ones who would begin the spread of the gospel throughout the known world. I wonder what it was like when they met. I saw some pretty corny pictures, looking for one I liked, of the two of them with haloes around their heads, embracing cheek to cheek. I don’t know about that. I think Peter may have been a little stand-offish at first, knowing Paul’s history; and wondering at Paul’s claim to now be, as Peter himself was, an apostle of Jesus Christ. I think Peter may have required some strong evidence.
Once they got past that first meeting, though, I think they must have dived right in, studying the scriptures and discussing the things of God for all hours of the day and night. Paul stayed with Peter for two weeks. I would love to have been a little mouse in the corner, listening as they talked and prayed together.
We don’t know how much time Paul spent with James, but that must have been an amazing experience for him, as well. The actual brother of Jesus, who had grown up with Him and known Him since James himself was a baby! I’ll bet they had some interesting conversations!
It was the dawn of a new age, the beginning of something so different from what these men had known in the past. Did they know they were in the forefront of a world-changing movement? I imagine they were much as we are, only perhaps a lot more excited about the things they had seen and learned from Jesus Christ Himself. If they had known all the adventures that awaited them, they may have hesitated. Or maybe not. They were full of God, and of a zeal for Him that has rarely been seen again down through the centuries.