Message in the Galatians (9)

Under the tutor – the law.

“Now before faith came we were held in custody under the law, being held as prisoners until the coming faith would be revealed. Thus the law had become our guardian until Christ, so that we could be declared righteous by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.” (Galatians 3:23 -25, NET). The “faith” above refers to Jesus Christ. In Paul’s time, a wealthy man would place his son under a trusted slave until a predetermined time. Therefore, while the son of a reach man was still very young he, technically, was no better than the slave because a slave would be over him as his guardian until the time determined by the father.

When the son of a wealthy man is old enough to begin the schooling, his father appoints a trusted slave in charge of the son until they get to the teacher. Even though the son was, technically the owner of the trusted slave nevertheless, the trusted slave had full authority over him until they get to the teacher. Because the son is still too young, he needed a guardian.  Paul presented this example to illustrate the state of the humankind, the sinners, before the coming of the Messiah, the righteous teacher. John 13:13.

 God gave the law as the guardian of the people through whom He chose to bring the Messiah, the Savior of the world. Before the Messiah, Paul asserts, the Jewish people were a minor in need of a guardian. Galatians 4:1 – 3. The Torah with its legal part, the ten commandments, was given to, as a trusted slave, lead the chosen people to the Messiah, the Teacher and the Savior. Therefore, Paul argues, the law was a temporary provision from Moses to the Cross of Christ. When the minor, the chosen people, comes to the teacher, the Messiah, he no longer needed a guardian. The literal meaning of the original text is that ‘the law was put alongside the minor’ to guide him to the teacher, the Messiah. The Righteous Teacher, the Messiah has authority over the law because He is the law-giver. Now that we are in Christ, the Teacher, we do not need the law as our guardian, the tutor. Galatians 3:25.

This subject will continue in the next blog.

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Dan Lazich

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