What does Galatians 4:15 mean?
ESV: What then has become of your blessedness? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have gouged out your eyes and given them to me.
NIV: Where, then, is your blessing of me now? I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me.
NASB: Where then is that sense of blessing you had? For I testify about you that, if possible, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me.
CSB: Where, then, is your blessing? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me.
NLT: Where is that joyful and grateful spirit you felt then? I am sure you would have taken out your own eyes and given them to me if it had been possible.
KJV: Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me.
NKJV: What then was the blessing you enjoyed? For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your own eyes and given them to me.
Verse Commentary:
Paul has been reminding the Galatians of how they first came to know each other. He was sick, and that illness somehow became the reason for his opportunity to tell them about Jesus (Galatians 4:13–14). Paul's "bodily ailment" could have given them reason to reject him and his message. He called his illness a trial to them. Instead of scorning Paul, however, the Galatians honored him. They received him and his message about Jesus as if he were an angel or even Jesus Christ Himself. It was a remarkable response.

Now Paul asks them what happened: "What became of your blessedness?" He wants to know what changed between their first season together, and this moment in which they are rejecting the gospel Paul preached, the truth of God's grace through faith in Jesus. Why would they go from receiving Paul's message of Christ with such joy, to disbelieving and beginning to volunteer as slaves under the law of Moses?

Back then, Paul remembered, they would have gouged out their eyes and given them to him. That's a perplexing comment, given that we don't know the full context of what happened between these believers and Paul. Scholars suggest that perhaps Paul's illness had to do with his eyes. Maybe he is suggesting that, if eye transplants were possible, the Galatians would have willingly given him theirs. Or perhaps Paul is simply using extreme language to describe how incredibly loyal and committed the Galatians were to his teaching about Jesus.

In any case, things had clearly changed. The Judaizers had begun to succeed in convincing the Galatians that Paul and his message of grace were not trustworthy.
Verse Context:
Galatians 4:8–20 reveals that the Galatian Christians have already begun legalistically following the law of Moses, by observing special days. Why would they want to go back to slavery by following the law to be justified by God, Paul asks? Why have they gone from blessing him and trusting in Christ to rejecting him for telling the truth? The false teachers are only using them to bring glory to themselves, Paul insists. Paul is in anguish for them as a mother in childbirth. He longs to see Christ formed in them.
Chapter Summary:
In this chapter, Paul uses three new methods to teach his Galatian readers an important lesson. It is futile to follow the law of Moses in order to be made right before God, since justification comes only by faith in Christ. First, Paul shows that the arrival of Christ made it possible for all people to become God's children through faith in Him. Next, Paul makes a more personal appeal, asking what has changed to cause the Galatians to turn on Paul's teaching of the gospel. Finally, Paul builds an allegory from Scripture, illustrating the difference between being born into slavery and being born into the promise by faith in Christ.
Chapter Context:
Galatians 3 ends with Paul stating, once more, that those who are in Christ are Abraham's offspring, just as He is, making us heirs along with Him. Galatians 4 continues that idea, showing how Christ's arrival signaled the moment all people could receive the inheritance with Him and be adopted as God's children. Paul makes his appeal personal, asking why the Galatians moved from blessing him to rejecting the message of Christ. The chapter ends with Paul's allegory about the difference between being born into slavery under the law and being born into freedom by the power of the Spirit through faith in Christ. Chapter 5 will continue by expanding on the freedom we have in Christ.
Book Summary:
Galatians is sometimes called “a short Romans” for its similar themes of justification and sanctification through faith. A group of Christians known as “Judaizers” were preaching a gospel of legalism, rather than grace. Paul’s main purpose in writing the letter to the Galatians was to reiterate the true nature of the gospel: we are justified (made righteous) and sanctified (made more Christlike) through our faith in Jesus Christ alone. This letter was probably written shortly before the church elders in Jerusalem issued their official refutation of the Judaizers, commonly called the Jerusalem Council.
Accessed 5/26/2024 5:40:22 PM
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