Eyes Wide Shut

2 Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision; 3 for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh (Philippians 3).

The word for “beware” is actually a word that mostly means just “to see” — to look upon with the eyes.  In other words, not to beware is like being blind.  Paul does not want these Philippians to be blind to the ravenous, evil-working Judaizers coming in to devour them with false doctrine concerning circumcision, trying to persuade them (the word “confidence” actually means “to be persuaded”) to adhere to Jewish rituals as a part of the Christian experience.  The eyes of the Judaizers were wide shut, while also trying to blind others.

A few years earlier, Paul had written his letter to the Romans (2:29), saying: “But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God” — words which even Moses and Jeremiah would have no doubt approved, for even they wrote: “So circumcise your heart, and stiffen your neck no longer” (Deuteronomy 10:16); and “Circumcise yourselves to the Lord and remove the foreskins of your heart” (Jeremiah 4:4).

Lord, help us This Day, as we go about our business, not to have our eyes wide shut — but instead to “put no confidence in the flesh.”  And open our eyes to see whenever we begin to.  Amen.