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Galatians 4:12 – I beseech you

31-08-2022 - Posted by Hans

Become as I, for I am even as you brethren, I beseech you. In nothing do you injure me.

Paul’s doctrinal exposition on the place of the law is punctuated from here (verse 12 through verse 20) by some personal outpourings and warm memories he has of the Galatians. While much of this letter is characterized by a fierce tone, this passage is soft and full of affection. We look, as it were, into the apostle’s heart: his diatribe appears to be motivated by love as for his own children (4:19). Paul is at his wits’ end (4:20) and cannot bear that they have turned away from his Evangel.

This verse begins with a short and somewhat cryptic plea. “Become like me, for I am even as you brethren…”. Earlier Paul wrote (2:19): “For I through law, died to law, that I should be living to God.” Basically he no longer counted himself as “under the law” and thus he had stood on the same ground as the nations. With “the Gospel of the uncircumcision” entrusted to him (2:7) he had become a ‘heathen apostle’. Paul now implores his readers: I became to you as “without law” (1 Cor.9:21), please become like me!