we ourselves are jews by birth and not gentile sinners; yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ. [galatians 2:15-16a]
if it were only gentiles, who were not brought up under the law, that were leading the charge to relax the requirement of circumcision, then it would seem self-serving to do so. paul here is placing himself in the shoes of the judaizers – he was raised alongside them under the same traditions! even so, paul will not suffer anything to be added to the work of Christ on the cross.
are you able to put aside tradition for the sake of the gospel?
what obligations are you putting on others that come not from scripture but from some man-made tradition? what burdens are you placing on others – burdens they don’t even know about because they weren’t raised the way you were? the gospel already has enough weight, and evangelism is not the throwing-on of burdens, but sharing the promise that Christ will carry the whole weight!
Lord, help us cast off extra-scriptural burdens, and protect us from casting such burdens on others. teach us to remember the truth that you took on every burden on the cross, and to share that truth with the lost.
~ stephen hall