Jews would have spit upon encountering Paul’s diseased person. The Greeks would have rejected him and his message because of his lack of an imposing appearance. But the Galatians had received Paul just as Christ had 22 agapereceived them. Everyone in God’s eyes is a sinner. We all are unattractive. We all have the infirmity that disgusts God. Yet in His great love for us, while we were still disgusting, God demonstrated His own love for us by sending the only perfect person, His only begotten Son, to die on the cross and pay the penalty for our sins (read disgustingness!). God’s love for all people, He so “loved the world” was such that there was nothing He would have held back to win us back from sin. He made that clear on Calvary. That’s the way of love.

Like God and Jesus, the Galatians had received the small, unimpressive Paul with all his diseases and weaknesses. Even though he was very unimpressive in physical appearance and strength there was an appeal to his message that was undeniable. In the 2nd Century document entitled, “The Acts of Paul and Thecla,” we read of his movement during his Galatians travels enroute to Iconium. In that text we read that Titus had given Onesiphorus a description of Paul so he would recognize him as he came from Lystra to Iconium. The writer then describes Paul as a very unimpressive figure yet he appeared to be “full of Grace” and sometimes “had the countenance of an angel.” This description is interesting because in Galatians 4:14, Paul said that the Galatians had initially received him as “angel of God.” Paul was full of grace, the Judaizers were full of law.

In Galatians 4:15, Paul confronted the Galatians and asked them, “What then has become of your blessedness?” He wants to know what has changed. Their gracious acceptance of him in all his imperfections has now turned into seeing him as a despicable sinner who is not worthy of their fellowship. The legalists had turned their hearts from love to law. Paul wanted them to see that the law rejects and condemns, love accepts and embraces sinners in spite of their despicable nature. Love sacrifices itself for others. That’s what God did. Love motivated God’s sacrifice and love motivated the Galatians sacrifice for Paul in all his infirmities as well. He finishes verse 15 with, “For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have gouged out your eyes and given them to me.” That was when you experienced God’s grace! Now under law, there is only condemnation and rejection. Which do you want; Law or Grace? I’ll take grace every time! Do you want the way of law or the way of love? I’ll take love every time!