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Home » Daily Readings, New Testament Writers

Come of Age

Submitted by on Saturday, 11 October 2008One Comment
  • Reading I: Galatians 3:22-29
  • Resp. Psalm: Psalm 105:2-3,6-7
  • Gospel Reading: Luke 11:27-28

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The day’s reading from the letter of Paul to the Galatians builds up from what has been stated about the freedom of those who have been baptized.  The selection from Galatians 3:22-29 lends itself easily to a Sentence Flow.  It is easy to see from a constructed sentence flow that the passage’s central part, vv. 23-27 explains how Scriptures confined all under sin until we were justified by faith (vv. 22) and how there can be no distinctions among Christians now (28-29).  Click here graphic for a more complete view of the text and its sentence flowYou can also download a PDF file that is minimally marked for further reference. The key structures holding the selection together are:

  • the time element:  Before … now
  • faith and law (with this latter linked to the word "disciplinarian"
  • different adverbial phrases with the word "Christ" (in, into, with, to)

Two ideas that are later on echoed in the letter to the Romans is about are found v. 26 (Romans 5:5; 8:15) and v. 27 (Romans 13:13-14).  Both are notions derived from baptism which, in this selection from Galatians, signals the coming of age of those who have been redeemed.

Before the time of justification through the cross of Christ, all were "confined under sin", that is, under the discipline of the law.  The law was like a trustee who watched over an heir until this one came of age and was able to act on his/her own capacity.  When that period is over, and the heir has come of age, he is released from the disciplinarian and begins to live in the way a son of the household should live: in freedom.  The use of prepositions and the name of Christ is Paul’s characteristic way of highlighting the idea that the status of the Christian before God cannot be separated from the Christ.  If the Christian is free, it is because of Christ.  That there can no longer be any distinctions within the ranks of Christians, distinctions that allocate more rights to some and not to others, is due to their having become children1.  Both the freedom of Christians and their equality before God is due to the fact that they have been clothed in Christ.  Thus, Paul links both freedom and equality to the new dignity of the Christian as a "child of God."

Luke 11:27-28
Faith is not just accepting the Word of God; faith also carries it out. Luke knows quite well that faith and obedience go together. In fact, Paul calls faith "obedience" (Romans 1:5; 16:26)2.   Thus, Jesus’ remark to the woman who has just blessed his mother.  Jesus by his reply does not only validate what Mary earlier had said ("All generations shall call me blessed") but also acknowledges her as the first disciple.
Galatians 3:22-29
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
22But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise, by the faith of Jesus Christ, might be given to them that believe.
23But before the faith came, we were kept under the law shut up, unto that faith which was to be revealed.
24Wherefore the law was our pedagogue in Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
25But after the faith is come, we are no longer under a pedagogue.
26For you are all the children of God by faith, in Christ Jesus.
27For as many of you as have been baptized in Christ, have put on Christ.
28There is neither Jew nor Greek: there is neither bond nor free: there is neither male nor female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.
29And if you be Christ's, then are you the seed of Abraham, heirs according to the promise.
Psalm 105:2-3,6-7
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
2Sing to him, yea sing praises to him: relate all his wondrous works.
3Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord.
6O ye seed of Abraham his servant; ye sons of Jacob his chosen.
7He is the Lord our God: his judgments are in all the earth.
Luke 11:27-28
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
27And it came to pass, as he spoke these things, a certain woman from the crowd, lifting up her voice, said to him: Blessed is the womb that bore thee, and the paps that gave thee suck.
28But he said: Yea rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God, and keep it.
Galatians 3:22-29
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
22But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise, by the faith of Jesus Christ, might be given to them that believe.
23But before the faith came, we were kept under the law shut up, unto that faith which was to be revealed.
24Wherefore the law was our pedagogue in Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
25But after the faith is come, we are no longer under a pedagogue.
26For you are all the children of God by faith, in Christ Jesus.
27For as many of you as have been baptized in Christ, have put on Christ.
28There is neither Jew nor Greek: there is neither bond nor free: there is neither male nor female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.
29And if you be Christ's, then are you the seed of Abraham, heirs according to the promise.
Romans 5:5; 8:15
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
55And hope confoundeth not: because the charity of God is poured forth in our hearts, by the Holy Ghost, who is given to us.
815For you have not received the spirit of bondage again in fear; but you have received the spirit of adoption of sons, whereby we cry: Abba (Father).
Romans 13:13-14
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
13Let us walk honestly, as in the day: not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and impurities, not in contention and envy:
14But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh in its concupiscences.
Luke 11:27-28
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
27And it came to pass, as he spoke these things, a certain woman from the crowd, lifting up her voice, said to him: Blessed is the womb that bore thee, and the paps that gave thee suck.
28But he said: Yea rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God, and keep it.
Romans 1:5; 16:26
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
15By whom we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith, in all nations, for his name;
1626(Which now is made manifest by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the precept of the eternal God, for the obedience of faith,) known among all nations;

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  1. The persecutions against Christians occuring now in India is due to the former’s rejection of the caste system. []
  2. The "of" in the expression can be taken as an explicative genitive. That is, one can read it as "the obedience that is faith" []

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