Paul is concerned about these people he is writing to. In this letter, he is worried about where the gospel has gone. He asks them “What then has become of the blessedness you felt?” He reminds them they would have gone as far as to gouge their eyes out for him.
He is worried about them not because of bad behavior but because he sees them losing sight of the gospel. He can see they would no longer accept him as they once did. He can see they are falling into the trap of being chided on by false teachers, instead of being empowered by the love of Jesus and encouraged by the freedom they have because of all Christ has done on their behalf.
He wants their relationships with him and one another to be unhindered. He wants them to live freely and not in the confines that the false teachers place on them. He calls them his little children. Paul wants to be near them, to remind them of the work of Christ and the freedom they have because of it.
He knows their relationship with him and with one another will be affected–is being affected–by placing more and more burdens on them. His first concern is not their relationship with him, however.
Paul’s foremost concern is the Galatians’ assurance in the unending mercy of Christ. He does not want them to forget they are forgiven and free.
The same is true for us when we forfeit our Christian freedoms to be chained to things that were never intended to be our god or to things Christ has set us free from. This is what happens when we are busy building our own hedges for protection. We can’t help our neighbor. We can’t see our neighbor because the sweat is dripping in our eyes; we can’t see our neighbor because the hedge is getting too high; we can’t do anything for our neighbor because our hands are too busy doing things to justify ourselves. Our relationships are hindered, because we are building all of these walls.
God’s love is not going to run away from us if we start building walls. In His love he will open our eyes to sin but nothing can cancel the love He has for us. “Neither life nor death nor angels nor demons can separate you from the love of Jesus.”
When we lose sight of the work of Christ, we become burdened, sweaty, angry and all we see is our shoddy work instead of Christ.
hen we live in the freedom and light of Christ, there will still be burdens. We will still sweat and get upset with our tasks. The difference is the hope we have because of the forgiveness Jesus extends.
The difference is we can look our neighbor in the eye and admit our failure. The difference is we can still keep moving forward because our hope is not in our work but in Christ. The difference is we have hope regardless of circumstance.
What does living in freedom because of Christ look like instead of slavery to everything else look like in your life?