1:10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ. 1:11 For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 1:12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
Seeking the favor of men – The defensive stance which Paul assumes in this verse implies that he was accused of “seeking the favor of men” by his gospel. This is perhaps the very first indication in the letter of what the distortion was. Paul taught “freedom” from “circumcision” and “the whole Law”, which he calls “a yoke of slavery” (5:1-3). Apparently he was being accused of thereby “seeking the favor of men”.
Not according to man – He continues to defend his gospel, claiming that he received it from God. The NIV is perhaps clearer:
“The gospel I preached is not of human origin. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ”.
This is the main message of the first chapter of the letter to the Galatians; namely that he did not get his message from people (1:11, 12). He was not “sent of men” (1:1). In 1:15-20 he explains what happened in the years after God stopped him on his way to persecute the Christians; how he did not “consult with flesh and blood” (1:16) and he “did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lord’s brother” (1:19). In chapter 2 he recalls a visit to Jerusalem, and said “those who were of reputation, (namely James, Peter Cephas and John – 2:9) contributed nothing to me” (2:6).
Rather, he claims that he was sent through God (1:1) and received his message through a revelation of Jesus Christ (1:12).