“Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:23-29)
Every once in a while one must stop and appreciate what a radical change it was for Saul/Paul to change from being a Jew zealous for Judaism to a Christian just a zealous for Christ. Did Saul/Paul indeed feel “imprisoned” by the laws of Judaism? Did he secretly wish to be “free”? From all that we read in the epistles, Paul embraced the “freedom” to believe zealously in Christ. And even though Paul says there is no longer Jew or Greek, we are Abraham’s offspring – which is kind of Jewish. It is hard, after all, to step away from one birth heritage. But it is a heritage that Paul opens to all who will believe. The different shadings of Paul have kept me “off-balance” in my opinion of him. But just as Paul/Saul has different shadings, does Christianity as we practice it now. And if we have to cleave to something, let us embrace the faith that Paul describes. Selah!