LIVE FREE Galatians Study Week Three

Day Sixteen. January 25. Galatians 4:8-20

We can call this section of Galatians 4, “Paul Gets Emotional.” Because he does! He’s agonizing over his beloved new brothers and sisters in Christ, wanting them to walk in freedom and so frustrated that they are listening to the wrong voices. He reminds them of his time with them, and how they loved him as he loved them.

I wonder what Paul’s sickness was that seemed so odious that they might have rejected him? Some people think it might have been some kind of an eye disease, based on Paul’s comment in verse 15: “… I am sure you would have taken out your own eyes and given them to me if it had been possible.” Evidently, the Christians in Galatia rallied around Paul in his distress and tenderly cared for him. That must have been a memorable time. Perhaps they prayed fervently and watched as God healed their Paul, their mentor and friend.

In any case, Paul is appealing to them in this section not by arguments from scripture, but on the basis of their close and loving relationship with one another. They loved Paul. How then can they listen to those who tell them not to listen to Paul, their spiritual father? I sense a bit of angst and feeling of betrayal in Paul’s words. Imagine if one of your children went away to college and all of a sudden chose a new mentor who basically told them that everything you, as a parent, had instilled in them was wrong? How would you feel? (Actually, too many parents know how that feels, because sadly, there are those in our modern colleges today who do just that – turn our children’s hearts away from the truths we instilled in them. If you are one of them, don’t stop praying for your dear ones. God is moving even when we don’t see it. The time will come, Lord willing, when their eyes will be opened again to the truths they were taught as children.) Poor Paul. He loved them so much. This was hard and it shows in his pleading in this section.


My verse: Galatians 4:19 “Oh, my dear children! I feel as if I’m going through labor pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your lives.”

My response: Paul’s passion for his converts shows here. He’s aching for them to grow in Christ – fully developed in their walk with Him – not side-lined by a rules-based faith. His love and agony in this verse humbles me. Do I agonize for those I love who are new in the faith? Lord, Help me to yearn for fully developed Christ-following lives in others and in myself as well.



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