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Galatians 4:18 – Zeal and zeal is two

31-08-2022 - Posted by Hans

Now it is ideal for you to be jealous (zealous) in the ideal always, and not only in my presence with you.

The previous verse talked about the zeal of the Judaistic deceivers to alienate the Galatians from Paul so that they would become zealous for them. In this verse 18 Paul goes on to say that it is good to be zealous, provided it is “in the ideal”. The Galatians had shown such zeal for him when he brought them the Gospel at that time! But now Paul was absent, and now the love and zeal for him and his message seemed to be on the contrary! They were heeding to the deceivers who outright twisted his Gospel and discredited Paul.

The zeal of the Galatians was good, but since his absence from Galatia that zeal had disappeared. Or rather, their zeal had taken a turn. Indeed, they were now very busy at work and more religious than ever. Everything the Judaizers told them about kosher, heyday, circumcision, and perhaps other rituals, were eagerly accepted. They showed tremendous zeal to live righteously before God. But Paul sighs, like a woman in labor pain….