CLAIM: Paul says that the Galatians treated him “as Jesus Christ himself” (Gal. 4:14). Should Christian leaders be viewed as Christ himself?
RESPONSE: In one sense, Christians should not be viewed as Christ himself, because we are all fallen and flawed people. Christian leaders should only be imitated, if they themselves imitate Christ (1 Cor. 11:1). However, Jesus did teach that he would reveal himself to the world through his followers (Mt. 10:40; Jn. 13:35; 17:21; Mt. 28:18-20), and he intimately associates himself with believers on Earth (Acts 9:4). Moreover, people will eventually be judged partially based upon how they treated the Body of Christ here on Earth (Mt. 25:31-46). Therefore, it makes sense that Paul would commend the Galatians for treating him well, considering how closely Christ associates himself with his followers.