During the time Paul was writing to the Galatians, the people of God were wrestling with many of the same issues we deal with today. Social, racial and economic tensions wreaked havoc on people from disadvantaged parts of society. Entire groups of the population faced relentless discrimination based on race and continually struggled for equality. Financial disparity created social struggles, leading to politicians vying for popular approval with seeming vacuous promises. Society was a mess. Sound familiar? Historian and philosopher Friedrich Engels observed, “All history has been a history of class struggles between dominated classes at various stages of development.”
The life and teachings of Jesus flies in the face of virtually every cultural and historical conflict. The message of salvation and the gospel is not in favor of one people group or sector of society. 1 Timothy 2:4 reminds us that God, “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
In our passage today, we encounter a truth that rocked the world in the time of the early church and has continued to shape the response of Christians to the gospel for the millennia since. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). Imagine how controversial that would have sounded in a civilization under foreign occupation. This was a society that openly endorsed slavery and viewed women as lesser humans and unworthy of citizenship. In many aspects, the phrase, “You all are one in Christ Jesus,” is as radical now as it was two thousand years ago. As you read through the passage for today, meditate on what it means that in Christ we are all one. How would it change our world, our neighborhood and our homes if we truly lived this truth?
How would it change our world, our neighborhood and our homes if we truly lived out the truth that we are all one “in Christ Jesus?”
Ask God today to reveal any areas in your life where you may harbor discrimination or resistance to the equality declared in today’s reading.