While I read Paul’s letter to the Galatians, I am reminded of the messy reality that human nature brings to any situation. As the early church took its first steps, and life sprung from the death and resurrection of Jesus, so grew a multitude of varying stories people would bring into their homes.
While guided by the Holy Spirit, these messages still had to be shared by flawed humans, adding their own perceptions, feelings and values to what they bring to others. This world wants so much of us, and often these wants are carried by the broken perceptions and values of others, and even ourselves.
This week we’ve read that the Galatians think that in order to follow Jesus, they need to take control of their own salvation, to do things and follow laws that will “right” themselves in Jesus’ eyes.
Paul seeks to solve the problems the Galatians face by turning them away from the strict guidelines imposed by some, to follow the guidelines of Jesus. Understanding that the message of salvation comes first from Jesus, and not from the influences of others.
Paul reminds us that living out the gospel means putting our faith in Jesus first, and letting him be the authority of our message.
Where we are constantly influenced by our own perceptions, Jesus stands as our justification of salvation; free from any of the flaws that we bring with us. We face a world that tries to tell us how to succeed – it pushes that we are responsible for our own journeys and our own destiny.
Galatians is a reminder to always keep Jesus at the core of our message to the world. When you feel the pressures of trying to fit into the perceptions and customs of a demanding world, remember that you are justified and saved by your faith in Jesus, and nothing else.