Gal 2:9

2:9 James and Cephas and John. See notes on v. 7; 1:18, 19. These three men had special authority in the early Jerusalem church. Peter and John are frequently seen together (Acts 3; 4), and James was prominent in the Jerusalem church (Acts 12:17; 15:13; 21:18). “Pillars” was used as a metaphor in Greek as in English for persons in important leadership positions.

grace . . . given to me. Regarding Paul’s conversion and call, see 1:15 and note. Paul frequently referred to his call as God’s grace, given to him (Rom. 1:5; 12:3; 15:15, 16; 1 Cor. 3:10).

we should go to the Gentiles. Barnabas, like Paul, was chiefly a missionary to the Gentiles (Acts 13; 14; 15:36–41).