Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians
Dr. Rod Rosenbladt
Vss. 13-14 – You know that it was because of weakness of the flesh that I preached the Gospel to you at first; and though my condition was a trial to you, you did not scorn or despise me, but received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus.
Paul explains the favors he had received from the Galatians.
1st (& greatest): I preached Christ to you in great trials & you were not offended by my condition, message of cross did not offend you (AE 26: 417)
. . . everyone who was powerful, wise, learned, or religious hated, persecuted, & spat upon Paul, stepped all over him & slandered him; Galatians were not offended by this. (AE 26: 418)
Vs. 16 – Have I, then, become your enemy by telling you the truth?
Paul says why he is speaking so soothingly: suspects they regard him as hostile to them
because he has rebuked them so harshly. (AE 26: 423)
Vs. 17 – They make much of you, but for no good purpose.
Paul attacks flattery of the false apostles. (Rom. 16:18)
Satan uses tricks & wiles; false apostles swear all they are interested in is advancing the glory of God
claim they are prompted by the Spirit to teach the pure truth, to deliver the elect from errors, etc.
promise sure salvation to those who accept their teaching
pretext of piety; but false apostles are wolves in sheep’s clothing. (Matt. 7:15)
Vs. 24 – Now this is an allegory.
Luther: Allegories do not provide solid proofs in theology. (AE 26: 435-436)
Paul had to prove justification by faith in Christ alone via better arguments than “allegory.”