Galatians 1:13-14 & Luke 10:25-28
From the Reformer
This passage does not contain doctrine. Paul adduces his own case for an example. “I have,” he says, “at one time defended the traditions of the Pharisees more fiercely than any of your false apostles. Now, if the righteousness of the Law had been worth anything I would never have forsaken it. So carefully did I live up to the Law that I excelled many of my companions. So zealous was I in defense of the Law that I wasted the church of God.”
—Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians
Pulling It Together
How do you know if someone is rabidly religious? When that someone kills other people for his faith, it is a fairly good indicator that he has put his whole heart into his religion. Paul was just such a person. His passion was for what he thought was the faith of his fathers but was in reality just religion. Then his mind came into play instead of just his heart. God engaged Paul’s heart and mind and that made the difference that enabled him to walk away from Pharisaic religion (what man does for God) to faith in Christ (what God has done for man).
The greatest commandment says that more than passion must come into play in life. The mind must also be engaged so that there might be strength of soul. Only then is neighbor loved instead of killed.
Paul was changed from a follower of culture to a follower of God because he began to love the Lord with all of his heart, soul, strength, and mind — because he walked away from his passion for tradition when Jesus said, “Follow me.”
© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reform: Devotions with the Reformers