Galatians 4:8–20 (ESV)
Paul’s Concern for the Galatians
8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. 9 But now that you have come to know God, or rather
to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years! 11 I
am afraid I may have labored over you in vain.
12 Brothers, I entreat you, become as I am, for I also have become as you
are. You did me no wrong. 13 You know it was because of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you at first, 14 and though my condition was a trial to you, you did not scorn or despise
me, but received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus. 15 What then has become of your blessedness? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have gouged out your eyes and given them to me. 16 Have
I then become your enemy by telling you the truth? 17 They make much of you, but for no good purpose. They want to shut you out, that you may make much of them. 18 It is always good to be made
much of for a good purpose, and not only when I am present with you, 19 my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you! 20 I wish I could
be present with you now and change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.
Paul appeals to the Galatians as a pastor with affection and tenderness, genuinely desiring to restore
their friendship and especially the freedom in Christ they once so gladly embraced. Tragically, enemies of the Gospel continue to camouflage their dishonorable intentions as they seek to draw people away from Christ. When pastors proclaim the Gospel, Christ
Himself is inviting all to return to Him for forgiveness and renewal of faith.
I pray: Heavenly Father, I pray for all ministers of the Word and the blessings they bring.
Through them, open our eyes to the truth. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 2009.