LET’S BE FREE!
As the new church grew in the wake of the resurrection of Jesus, there needed to be some serious reorientation. Jesus was promised to arrive through the Jews, God’s chosen people, and God used the Law of Moses, the Kings, and the prophets to give advance insight into Who He would be. But He wasn’t the Savior of the Jews alone, but of every man and woman from every “tribe.”
This did not sit well with the Jews, for their identity was caught up in their Jewishness rather than their promised Deliverer. This huge conflict needed to be overcome. Were these new believers supposed to become Jews OR Christ-followers? How did this differ? Where did they overlap?
Paul was a Jewish zealot. He was a problem for the early church. In fact, he pursued them and killed them (read about Stephen). He was specially chosen and equipped to make the journey from Jewish believer to one delivered by the grace of Christ. This is what the book of Galatians is attempting to sort out. The Good News + anything = nothing.
Both the new Jewish and Gentile believer needed to understand what it meant to become a “true Jew.” Check out Romans 2.28-29. “For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.”
This is an astonishing answer to a very real problem. How does religion (any religion) fit together with the Kingdom heart Jesus so clearly articulated? King first. Then Kingdom. Then church. It is that simple 🙂
Enjoy this informative and heart-changing letter to the Galatians.
Dave & Burnadette