12I beg of you, brethren, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You have done me no wrong;
13but you know that it was because of a bodily illness that I preached the gospel to you the first time;
14and that which was a trial to you in my bodily condition you did not despise or loathe, but you received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus Himself.
15Where then is that sense of blessing you had? For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your eyes and given them to me.
16So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?
17They eagerly seek you, not commendably, but they wish to shut you out so that you will seek them.
18But it is good always to be eagerly sought in a commendable manner, and not only when I am present with you.
19My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you–
20but I could wish to be present with you now and to change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.
This passage is Paul relating to the Galatians. He’s been with them and preached to them before. They have a good relationship, even to the point that they would do anything for him and him for them. It seems, however, that they were quick to abandon their relationship through Christ to follow and appease the “Judaizers” (the jews that converted yet try to maintain their Jewish roots).
On a side note, these Judaizers can be applied, in function, to converted Christians today. anyone who becomes a believer can easily try to maintain their old lifestyle. it’s like we keep getting called back to how we used to live because it felt comfortable. It was what we knew and we sometimes try to reconnect with it. It’s why the Galatians were so easily convinced to backslide.
Verse 17 explains the power struggle between the world and the Kingdom. Paul explains to us that it is not merely a conflict between persons, as he mentions its not about him being the one preaching to him, rather anyone preaching the truth is his goal, rather than the deceivers. Paul is deeply bothered by the course they have taken and wishes to be with them to help instead of detained.
Where are you at today? Are you leaning back towards your old ways? Are you stuck back in your old ways? Do you not know how to find a new Way? All these problems are solved through Christ, but we have to be willing.
Are you willing?