The Run Down
I “entreat” you…
child – tell w authority, teen – convince / persuade, adult – try to win freely.
“entreat” or “beg”
Argue, debate, discuss, influence, beg, persuade, coerce, compel, force.
Paul always willing to change his cultural distinctives, preferences, likes, dislikes, those that aren’t essential… for those whom he is trying to win to Jesus Christ.
19For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 23I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.
Or do you ask to truly “get to know” this person… do you ask to let them “speak” first… are you “slow to listen”….
And then maybe finally… after they hear… see… even feel…. “your personhood”…. They may ask for the opp for you to share… or you might can walk across that bridge without them ever feeling threatened by it.
Maybe there because of an illness in the first place… and at the least preaching to them with this illness…
No way to know what it was… hypothesis are: malaria from insect infested coastal regions so he came here to lower mountains to recoup; from physical abuse and mistreatment from preaching the Gospel in Lystra; thorn in the flesh 2 Cor. 12:7 ; eyes problems relating the self gouging in vs. 15 and 6:11.
As if they had clearly, purely heard the beauty of the Gospel as if from Christ himself. You know… we are to “be followers of Christ”… right….
“Christian” (Follower of the Christ, the anointed one, to adhere to Christ, as a slave.)
Paul is definitely receiving undue praise, or non-human equality with angels… this is the one that would count himself accursed if he could for his own people… one who considered all his previous “righteousness” as dung… the one who said “I am the chief of sinners”….
Paul is reporting the facts… but is again using it in his case to “entreat” and beg them…. To come back to their senses of the pure Gospel without the law.
Have you ever been away from someone for a while… and then you found out “something” has changed.
Honestly… it has happened to me frequently. Simply because I was in a ministry position that over the years dealt with many teenagers,… growing, maturing, developing…. Active at youth group… or as vital leaders…
Then they graduate and go to college… or the military….
And some of them… not all of them…
When I run into them again later…. “something” has changed.
There is an obvious arm’s length distance.
It can personally be painful… I try not to express anything different…
In this verse is the possible reference to his infirmity maybe concerning his eyes…
Or maybe just a vivid example.. though a bit odd.
And thus now Paul must ask if he has now become their enemy by telling them the truth… the truth about real freedom as sons… heirs… grace.
Or hopefully he is just pressing the point… that if you are swayed back to a law… the law… away from Grace… then you are making Paul an enemy yourselves.
But it will not be for your good.
Literally… “They want to lock you up”, that you may make much of them.
Paul is thinking of the “law that locks us under sin” back to 3:22.
Their seeming zeal to show them the full truth in the obedience to the law… actually will lock the Galatians up in the curse yet again… and they will be beholden to these teachers of the law.. .instead of freedom in the life of Christ.
“Not only when I am with you”… paul’s implications… that his working with them was for a good purpose…
Paul uses this analogy only here… the idea of anguish in childbirth…
“my little children”… personal… loving…
“again” in the anguish of childbirth… over this issue of them turning to the law…
He is in anguish over this. Paul’s mixture of evangelism in converting… yet true care and concern as a mother… laboring now again over their retreat.
Christ is to be formed within them.
What about you? Is Christ being formed in you?
Just like today… if you are around someone all the time… you can be more choosy… tactical… sensitive… in your presentation of Christ.
If you are on a plane for one time in all of history… and the bridge has formed… you might have to walk boldly across it in love and in truth then and there.