Galatians 3:1 “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? (literally, who has put the evil eye on you or brought you under their spell) It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified.”
Witchcraft is a dark, demonic force. It is easy to recognize in its various outward forms. However, there is a subtle form of witchcraft that this verse in Galatians exposes. Witchcraft, in its overt and visible manifestations seeks to do its damage to the people of God. Yet by stealth and through the means of false teaching, witchcraft also seeks to obscure the message of the cross in the Church.
Paul rebukes the Galatians, saying in so many words, “What’s wrong with you people? Who has brought you under their spell? You saw the cross. It was so very clear to you. What? Can’t you see it anymore?”
Let me state it once again, witchcraft seeks to obscure the message of the cross in the Church.
What Paul writes is intriguing. How could he make this comment, “It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified”? How could Paul suggest such a thing?
Did Paul forget who it was he was writing to? Did he have some mental aberration and think he was writing to the Christians at Jerusalem and not in Galatia? The Galatian Christians were not at Golgotha to see the Lord crucified.
Ahhh yes, but years later, the Holy Spirit had erected the cross in Galatia through the preaching of the apostle Paul. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit Paul could write that they had seen the cross.
Either Paul was misguided or else there is a truth here that is breathtaking. Obviously, it is the latter. Because Paul had preached the cross, the people had indeed “seen” it. When the cross is rightfully preached, the Holy Spirit goes to work to make it visible to the hearers. That is why the Apostle Paul could scold the Galatian Christians for allowing the enemy, and specifically the power of witchcraft, to obscure the truth of the cross from their eyes.
This is always the tactic of the devil. He seeks to make that amazingly clear portrayal of the cross become cloudy and fuzzy in the hearts and minds of Christians.
When a room is in darkness, we don’t use a vacuum cleaner to get the darkness out. We simply turn on the light.
How do we break the power of witchcraft? Certainly not by performing some elaborate or intricate religious ceremony, or incantation. Certainly not by engaging in speculation or superstition. So when witchcraft has invaded the Church, what do we do? How do we break its grip? How do we remove the darkness? What do we do when a Church has been “bewitched”?
We break the power of witchcraft by the clear preaching and proclamation of the cross and being reminded of all that was achieved and its implications. That’s how! And that is exactly what the Apostle does in his letter to the Galatians.
When the cross is preached, Jesus is publicly portrayed among us as crucified.