Maybe I'm wasting my time on you
Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from
a servant, though he be lord of all;
But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.
Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of
But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of
a woman, made under the law,
To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption
And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into
your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an
heir of God through Christ.
Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by
nature are no gods.
But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how
turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again
to be in bondage?
Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.
I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.
Maybe I have wasted my time working with you.
I had a temptation in the flesh
(but you didn't despise me for it)
Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not
injured me at all.
Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you
at the first.
And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but
received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.
I had a temptation in my flesh, but you didn't despise me for it. 
You welcomed me as an angel of God, like Christ Jesus. 
Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if
it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have
given them to me.
You loved me so much then that you would have plucked out your own eyes and given them to me.
Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that
ye might affect them.
But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not
only when I am present with you.
My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be
formed in you,
I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand
in doubt of you.
Am I your enemy now for telling you the truth?
A tale of two sons
(the son of the flesh and the son of the spirit)
Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?
For it is written, that Abraham
had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
Abraham had two sons, 
one from a slave and one from a free woman.
But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the
freewoman was by promise.
Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one
from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Hagar.
For this Hagar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which
now is, and is in bondage with her children.
But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and
cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than
she which hath an husband.
The slave woman's son was born from the flesh,
but the free woman's son was by promise.
Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
We are the children of promise, like Isaac. 
But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born
after the Spirit, even so it is now.
The son of the flesh persecuted the son of the Spirit. 
And that's what's happening now.
Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son:
for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the
What does the scripture say?
Cast out the slave woman and her son, so the son of the slave woman won't share
the inheritance with the son of the free woman.
So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.
We are the children of the free woman.
- Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am. (v.12)
Forget Jesus. Be like Paul.
- My temptation which was in my flesh. (v.14a)
Some say that Paul's temptation was homosexuality.
Strange Flesh: Paul's thorn
- An angel of God, even as Christ Jesus (v.14b)
So Jesus was an angel?
- Abraham had two sons (v.22)
Abraham had at least eight sons. (One with Hagar, one with Sarah, and six with Keturah.)
How many sons did Abraham have?
- We, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. (v.28)
Paul's bizarre claim here that Christians - not Jews - are the children promised to Abraham.
(See the stories about the birth of Ishmael and Isaac in Genesis 16 and
- He that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born
after the Spirit. (v.29)
The fleshly son is, of course, Ishamael, and the son of the spirit is Isaac.
According to the story in Genesis 21, Ishmael "mocked" his younger brother
Isaac on the day Isaac was weaned.
That's the persecution Paul is referring to here. He claims that the Jews (the sons of the fleshly son, Ishmael) are
persecuting the Christians (the sons of the spirit, Isaac).