Galatians 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
Paul said the churches at Galatia had Jesus set before their eyes, evidently set forth crucified among them. Obviously, Jesus was not crucified again and he wasn’t crucified in Galatia. That whole phrase comes from one Greek word, which means to “write of” or “openly portray.” Paul had not hidden the truth. Paul was not shy about the essential doctrines of Christ. Paul had clearly, openly, boldly, and explicitly taught the gospel of Jesus Christ, so much so that they had known and seen, with the eyes of faith, the Lord Jesus. They had seen his doctrine, his ways, his crucifixion, his death, his burial, his resurrection. But it wasn’t just the historical facts, but also the theological significance of the gospel. They were taught that the only way of salvation was through faith in the substitutionary, sacrificial work of Christ Jesus. You can only be saved by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Christ was set before them in doctrine. Christ was set before them in the ordinances. They had all take of the Lord’s Supper, which is a memorial, a picture of the Lord’s death, till he comes. They had all been baptized, immersed under the water, in that picture and symbol of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Oh, foolish Galatians. They were acting the fool, or unwise. He wasn’t calling them stupid, but they were morally and ethically careless. That’s what Jesus called the disciples on the road to Emmaus, Luke 24:25. Why were the Galatians foolish? They had seen the glory of Christ, and the wondrous gospel of Jesus, and they decided that they would prefer to go back under the law to be justified by their works. That, dear ones, is foolish. That is not wise, it is not holy, it is not spiritual. We also know that Paul wasn’t name calling, because he loved these people. His passionate and harsh language was coming from a man who loved greatly and loved deeply. This comes from the same apostle who wrote Galatians 4:19 . In fact, it was so foolish, that Paul said, “who hath bewitched you?” Who was it that brought this evil before you and deceived you into believing this falsehood? You couldn’t have just come to this from the truth I taught you. And only a fool would receive a false doctrine. It must have been some outside force, some devil, some wolf in sheep’s clothing that had bewitched you and led you astray. Because you have seen Christ. I preached Christ explicitly. Jesus is so glorious, the gospel is so beautiful, God is so gracious, that you must have been bewitched. The only conceivable explanation of how they could have left Christ and the free gospel of sovereign grace to go and try to earn salvation by good works.