12 I make my appeal to you, brothers and sisters. I’m asking you to become like me. After all, I became like you. You didn’t do anything wrong to me. 13 Remember when I first preached the good news to you? Remember I did that because I was sick. 14 And my sickness was hard on you. But you weren’t mean to me. You didn’t make fun of me. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God. You welcomed me as if I were Christ Jesus himself. 15 So why aren’t you treating me the same way now? Suppose you could have torn out your own eyes and given them to me. Then you would have done it. I am a witness to this. 16 Have I become your enemy now by telling you the truth? 17 Those people are trying hard to win you over. But it is not for your good. They want to take you away from us. They want you to commit yourselves to them. 18 It is fine to be committed to something, if the purpose is good. And you shouldn’t be committed only when I am with you. You should always be committed. 19 My dear children, I am in pain for you like I was when we first met. I have pain like a woman giving birth. And my pain will continue until Christ makes you like himself. 20 I wish I could be with you now. I wish I could change my tone of voice. As it is, I don’t understand you.
Gosh Paul is disturbed by the change in behaviour of the Galatians. He had arrived there and stayed there with them not because he wanted to but because he was too sick to leave them. Even so they treated him well and listened to what he had to say. Now they are not so happy to listen. Paul’s alarm bells have gone off. He is worried for his friends. He wants them to be free – not limited by people’s rules and regulations.
He is pretty blunt in trying to bring them back to God. People are trying to keep the Galatians away from Paul. He says they do not have good intentions and is trying to remind the Galatians what God actually says.
We also need to be wary of those who would lead us away from what God actually says even in the guise of “what God wants”. God wants us to live in the freedom of His grace. He went to a lot of effort to save us – completely and utterly. There are not extra bits we have to do to make sure we are saved – faith is it – believing in Jesus, what He says and what He did. That’s it. How AMAZING.
Dear Lord Thank you for our salvation. Thank you for the grace and freedom you bring to our lives. Help each of us to keep in touch with You and Your word to make sure we don’t get distracted or brought off track. Thank you for Paul’s passion for his friends – help us to help each other to keep our eyes on You.
Written by Therese Manning