Paul did not spend his entire letter on just the Galatian believer, instead he tried to get them to focus on the false teachers who seek to lead them astray. Who are They? He asks in verse 7. Certainly not God, he asserts in verse 8. But in verse 9 he notes that the false teaching of the Judaizers has the potential to spread throughout the whole church just as yeast leavens a lump of flour.
Shifting his appear in verse 10, and through his assertion that he has confidence that the Galatians will stay by his gospel rather than side with the Judaizers. But the very thought of such apostles of doom raises his ire and his thoughts turn to their final judgment for the trouble they have caused. Not the least of their evils, as he sees it, is that they apparently, in his absence, had sought “to gain acceptance for their teaching” by pointing out “that Paul had himself been circumcised and suggested that in the matter of circumcision his teaching was much the same as theirs. If that latter point was true, Paul queried, “why am I still persecuted” by the Judaizers and others who rejected the full sufficiency of the Cross (verse 11).
The cross itself was a stumbling block (verse 11) to those who prided themselves in their law achievements. The cross reminds us that people can do nothing to save themselves from si n, No matter how hard they try. Calvary leaves no room for human pride (confer Ephesians 2:9). Nothing can be added to the Cross. We must either accept it by faith or reject it. Those are the only two ways to relate to it.
Galatians 5:12 represent Paul’s ultimate emotional outburst against the Judaizers, as he cried out that those who are teaching circumcision should follow their logic to its natural conclusion and emasculate themselves. Why just go part of the way? He argues. Instead, “they out to make a full sweep of themselves and remove the whole organ.”
Galatia was near Phrygia and the great worship of that part of the world was the worship of Cybele; now it was the practice that priests and really devout worshippers of Cybele mutilated themselves by castration. The Cybele priests were eunuchs. So Paul says, “if you go on in this way, of which circumcision is the beginning, you might as well end up by castrating yourselves like these heathen priests. It is as grim illustration at which a polite society raises it eyebrows, but it would be intensely real to the Galatians who knew all about the priests of Cybele, who, in fact, lived among them.