October 14, 2020, Galatians 3:23-29
Like many of the churches Paul sent letters to, the church of Galatea experienced deep divisions. Jewish Christians looked down on Gentile Christians; the men of the congregation lorded it over the women; and those who had their freedom held those who were slaves with contempt.
Paul’s response? He reminds them who they are.
You are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you. (Galatians 3:26-29, NLT)
Paul reminds this community of Jesus-followers that their identity, destiny and worth are not bound up in their ethnicity, their social status, or in their gender. None of that defines them before God. What matters to God is their relationship with him, and the good news is that, in Christ, God has made them (and us) his children—sons and daughters of the heavenly Father and brothers and sisters of Jesus!
In many ways not much has changed in the last 2,000 years. Our nation is deeply divided by race, politics, religion, economics, social issues, a pandemic, and even how we think about the weather!
But, as Paul reminds us, this is not who we are. Our identity, destiny and worth are bound up in Jesus! Because we are reconciled children of God, we can live in reconciliation and friendship even when we don’t see eye to eye! This is what it means to be a light to the nations, a city on a hill: living the Jesus-way.