A Spiritual Dad – Galatians 4:15

Vol. 2, No. 24 – 6-11-2017

If possible, you would have plucked out your eyes and given them to me. Galatians 4:15b

It is interesting to read Galatians in the eyesight of a spiritual dad. Paul knew what the Galatians needed; so he writes to them as a dad, and with the stature of a dad—firm but with a tender heart.

We also sense the difficulty Paul was experiencing. Evidently he had problems with his eyesight. He knows his “children” that they would do anything for him to meet his needs. That is a great reflection of their love.

Have you ever received discipline from your dad; then he picks you up and comforts you and demonstrates his love to you? Paul was like that. We do not often think about him in that way. He evidently was a “hugger” following his conversion. He might have been the first Baptist!

This letter from Paul was written during the Galatians flighty time. They were inconsistent in their faith. Yet they had great respect for Paul. They received Paul as if an angel of God. It has been awhile since someone called me an angel.

It evidently touched Paul, as he mentions it in verse 14.

  • You have done me no wrong (12)
  • You received me as if an angel of God (14)
  • You received me as if Christ Jesus Himself (14)

Yet something changed.

  • You once thought highly of me (15)
  • If possible you would pluck out your eyes for me (15)
  • It became as if I were your enemy because I told you the truth (16)
  • I have had to change my tone (20)

If someone were to give you their eyes, it would be a most precious gift; for it would be a priceless gift; it would be a sacrifice. Yet, we get the sense that the Galatians had felt there was no price too high for the one they loved—the one who brought them the gospel.

So it is, that Paul, as a father, confronts his “children.” He cares enough to confront. He cares with a sensitivity. There were those willing to give their eyes in the past. Some are willing to give us their kidneys, the heart of their loved one, their wealth, their homes, their cars, even their food.

The Father cares for the son, His children, and is willing to give out of unconditional love. Yet the Father knows when the child needs discipline, and He does not withhold. You have experienced that, have you not? Without such care, we would not be able to serve God properly.

Listen to Paul:

While we were still helpless, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly. One would hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:6-8

  • We do not expect someone to die for us
  • We might think it possible, but really
  • It is God who shows His great love!
  • He sends Christ to die for us—even though we are sinners
  • How great is that?

Paul writes to us as a dad. We need to think about his words. Perhaps we, like Elijah, need to sit under our Broom Trees and contemplate the things God has done. Our Father has written us a letter demonstrating His love for us. Has your earthly father written you any letters? Have you written your children any letters? What do the letters say?

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Written by Dr. Larry Lightner

June 11, 2017

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