Then after fourteen years, I went up again to Jerusalem, this time with Barnabas. I took Titus along also. 2 I went in response to a revelation and, meeting privately with those esteemed as leaders, I presented to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain.
So Paul has been at work for 14 years! Think about all the highs and lows, the victories for the cause of Christ, the personal suffering he had to endure. So then he goes to Jerusalem to meet with those who were the leaders. And Paul presented what he believed the gospel to be. 14 years into it, and he wants to make sure that he has not been doing all of this in error?
First, let's stop and look why he went. He went in response to a revelation. The Holy Spirit was guiding him to go to Jerusalem. He knew he was going to talk to the leaders of the church. Was this because he had been doing something wrong? We all know that feeling, when you are called before someone of importance and we don't know why. Be it boss or parent or the boss's boss, our mind sometimes begins to wander, thinking, "What could I have done wrong?"
I am not sure if I see a moment of doubt here, or a moment of humility, or perhaps both. There is nothing wrong with a moment of doubt, and certainly nothing wrong with humility either. I like that Paul is open and honest, whatever the reason, and is willing to listen. I pray that I would be that way. And I pray that all leaders would be that way.
How crazy, after 14 years, for Paul to consider if he had been running his race in vain. The only thing crazier would be for him not to consider such a thing.