"But the Jerusalem above is free..."
Text: Galatians 4:26a
THE JERUSALEM IMAGERY IN THE PSALMS
The Jerusalem imagery was well utilised by the psalmists. Jerusalem was always more than just a physical location. Psalm 48 is an excellent example of how Jerusalem was viewed. The following may be highlighted:
1. It is the city of God (Psalm 48:1).
2. It is the city of the great King (Psalm 48:2).
3. God is in the midst of His people (Psalm 48:3).
THE JERUSALEM IMAGERY IN PAUL’S WRITINGS
The apostle Paul also had a lofty view of Jerusalem. He used it as a special imagery in the following text.
But the Jerusalem above is free, which is the
mother of us all.
1. A contrast is drawn
a) Sinai and Jerusalem.
b) The former represents bondage and the latter freedom.
2. “The Jerusalem above”
a) Paul was not thinking of the physical Jerusalem.
b) Jerusalem in the days of Jesus was lamentable because of its wickedness.
c) He was thinking of the Jerusalem the way the psalmists did.
d) Thus his stylised description of Jerusalem was “the Jerusalem above”.
3. “The Jerusalem above is free”
a) The word “free” is “liberty”.
b) Jesus came to free people from the power of sin and Satan (John 8:32).
c) Jerusalem from above was a symbol of liberty in contrast to bondage to sin and the law.
4. “Which is the mother of us all”
a) Sarah and Jerusalem- We have a mixed metaphor here.
b) Jerusalem was now the greater of the two symbols.
c) This was the covenant that is called “the new covenant”.
d) Characteristic of the new covenant is “liberty”.
e) All who have faith in Christ may speak of being children of “the Jerusalem above”.