“Fill my eyes oh my God with a vision of the cross, fill my heart with love for Jesus the Nazarene”.
What does it mean to fill my eyes with that vision Lord? Why is it so important?
When Adam and eve were in the “Garden” the serpent asked them the question “did God really say…?” After the initial interaction with the serpent, he says your eyes will be opened when you eat from the tree”. The woman looked and saw the fruit and she found it desirable. By looking and seeing, the wrong desire was provoked. So our motivation and purpose to act is often provoked by our vision. What is the counter to that? To fill our eyes with a vision of the Cross and Jesus the Nazarene. Yet we cannot actually “see” Jesus in reality – nevertheless one can “see” Him in multiple ways in your mind’s eye and that vision of Him will determine your love and desire for Him with your actions flowing from that. Now that vision doesn’t just come from our pure imagination – it comes initially through God’s word. His word paints pictures constantly adding to the original in depth, quality, colour and variety – but the Word is the true source of the vision – yet we can build on that vision all the time by worship, prayer, daily interaction with God by faith and through His word, often even subconsciously to our original vision from His word.
Now the danger is that false pictures can intrude, held up by false prophets and teachers and wrong, negative interaction with other people and even our own sinful desires. So at the beginning of the day we can sing “Be thou my vision, oh Great King of heaven, be thou my all….”
Now we are back in Galatians. From 1:11 to 2:10 Paul goes into great detail to establish his status of apostleship and grasp of the gospel and how he received it directly from Jesus. In such a short letter why would he take up almost a whole chapter on this subject? Well why don’t you think through that and then what the important relevance that has for us today.
In 2:11-2:14 Paul comes to the reason or motivation which has set him off to write this indignant letter. It is clear that Peter has reneged on his original belief that the Gentile believers, who had accepted the Lord by faith were fully equal to the Jewish believers under the new order and now, (notice the remark in vs 12b that he did this out of fear), was aligning himself with the Jewish believers who believed that to be a complete Christian you still need to fulfil the requirements of the law, and in this case especially circumcision. Now today many would say why the fuss, surely this is a point of doctrine and many people have different views of certain doctrines? So yes, why the fuss?
This is such an important issue that I am going to stop there for today and am going to leave you with a few questions to ponder and I will deal with them next time before getting into the rest of ch 2 which is quite complex.
So here are the questions, if you wish to you can place one or more answers on the blog comments so that others can interact.
- Why would Paul take up a whole chapter in such a short letter to establish his authority as an apostle and his grasp of the gospel and why is that very relevant for us today?
- Why is it so attractive to people, both saved and unsaved to believe that obeying the law can contribute to their salvation?
- Why the fuss about this whole issue, surely it is a minor point of doctrine?
Consider also, as part of our discussion for next time “what is the role of the law in salvation”?
So I thought I would like to hear what your takes are on these questions are and at the same time getting our half-frozen brains ticking again.
And what is Jesus saying to me today? “What is your understanding of the role of the law in salvation under the New Covenant? Think it through carefully.”