Friday 6th April 2018 - Daily Reading:
Galatians 3:13-29 - Radical Thinking by Richard Cowling

Today, I want us to focus on Galatians 3:28. It is one of the most radical verses in Scripture, especially when you consider the times and context in which Paul wrote it! It says "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."

It think it is important to try and put this in its first century context in order to grasp exactly what it is that Paul is saying, and the impact and implications it would have had at that time for the readers of the letter. Over the previous days, we have looked at length at the audience to which Paul was writing the letter. I can imagine that each day, the Pharisees would pray giving thanks that they were not born a Gentile, a slave, or a woman! In Paul's time, the time that this letter was written, Jewish men believed that they were the chosen people of God. However, here, Paul writes "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." We need to remember, Paul himself had been a Pharisee. He knew exactly what it was that he was saying here!

First of all, Paul says that there are no racial or ethnic differences in Christ: “There is neither Jew nor Greek.” Paul's opponents in Galatia were advocating that Gentile Christians must be circumcised. Paul was quick to point out that there are no boundaries in Christ.

Secondly, Paul points out that class discrimination is destroyed in Christ: "There is neither slave nor free." The great economic divide of that society was between slave and free. The slaves had no rights, the free had the rights. Jesus swept all that away! In Christ, there are no economic dividing lines!

Thirdly, Paul says "There is neither male nor female." In the culture in which Paul was writing, women were inferior. They couldn't receive instruction about the Torah, and weren't considered reliable witnesses. However, Paul says, in Christ... we are all equal! It was a radical statement to make!

Paul in his message is very clear to the reader: IN CHRIST, we are all ONE!

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