It is never a nice feeling being fooled, so how does it happen?
You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? 3 Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?
In this passage we see the Apostle Paul very disappointed with the Galatians. So much so, that he calls them foolish. He can’t imagine how they had been able to be so foolish except that they must be bewitched – out of their minds.
While the popular picture of a fool is a chap in a funny hat, entertaining the king’s court with witty jokes and silly sayings, being a fool is much more serious.
It means rejecting wisdom and the resulting actions are foolishness.
The wisdom that the Galatians had rejected was the fact that Jesus’s death on the cross was sufficient. After hearing the glorious message of grace, they had listened to other voices telling them that salvation wasn’t finished at the cross, but that they had to earn it by keeping the law.
The tricky thing about being made a fool, is that we fall for things that look plausible. If it was really ridiculous, we might twig to the idea and leave it alone. But the Galatians were attracted to the idea of works of the law. It seemed a worthy idea – after all, keeping the law was what the ‘good’ and ‘wise’ people did.
But the hidden foolishness in this wisdom is the lie that we can save ourselves by what we do. God has already saved us by giving His precious Son. There is nothing we can do that could come anywhere near that.
The law focusses on all our imperfections and serves to remind us how impossible it is to be righteous by our own works.
The grace of the Cross focusses on the perfection of the Lamb without blemish who offered Himself for us. Jesus makes it possible for us to be righteous by giving us His own righteousness, by covering our foolishness with His wisdom and love.
Let us not be fooled. Let us look to our wonderful Saviour and put all our trust in what He has done.
Head: Think of times you have been fooled into the same thing as the Galatians, thinking good works will save you.
Heart: Remember the words of Jesus on the cross, “It is finished”. Keep that promise in your heart as you go about your day.
Hands: When you find yourself thinking on the good works that you are doing, lift them up to Jesus as a thank you for what He has already done.
Prayer: Dear Lord, please fill me with your wisdom and take away any foolishness of trusting in myself or my own deeds. Thank you that in Christ’s death and resurrection, my salvation is complete. Amen
A song to listen to: Made alive