Galatians 1:18-24 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. Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not. Afterwards, I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia; And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ: But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preaches the faith which once he destroyed. And they glorified God in me.
‘James the Lord’s brother’ James was not the one called the son of Zebedee (Matt. 4:21) or the son of Alphaeus (Luke 24:10), but the actual half-brother of Jesus Christ (1:19; Matt. 13:55; Mark 6:3). Christ’s brethren did not believe in Him until after the resurrection (John 7:5), but the other two men named James did. This James experienced a special appearance of Christ but is not classed as an apostle (1Cor. 15:7). The brethren of Jesus are distinguished from the two apostles called James (Acts 1:13-14). The virgin Mary had more sons and daughters than did her sister Mary (Matt. 13:55; Mark 6:3).
‘Afterwards, I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia.’ Paul left Jerusalem to arrest the saints (Acts 9:1-43). Later he escaped Damascus and went into the rural regions of Arabia and back to Damascus (1:17; 2Cor. 11:32-33; Acts 9:23-25). Then he went up to Jerusalem completing the three years (1:18; Acts 9:26-27). After this, he went into Syria and Cilicia and to Tarsus his home (1:21-23; Acts 9:28-30; 22:17-21).
‘That he which persecuted us’ – Paul always considered himself the least and not worthy to be an apostle because of his past persecution of the congregations (1Tim. 1:11-16).
‘And they glorified God in me.’ All our testimonies are for God’s glory, not our own.