“But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother.” (Gal. 4:26)
There are two Jerusalems in Paul’s allegory. One is on the earth and one is in heaven. One is physical, earthly and one is spiritual, heavenly. The Jerusalem on earth is in slavery because she is under the law but the Jerusalem in heaven is free because she is under grace. When people teach that Jesus is coming back to an earthly Jerusalem to reign over an earthly kingdom they do a disservice to His death.
When Jesus came to earth He came to establish His kingdom and did so. He said before He died that He was a king but not of this world. Then what world was He a king of? His kingdom was and is in heaven and He has made no plans to rule on this earth in a city of slavery when He already has a throne in the heavens with God.
Now, this verse gives us a choice as to whose child we are. We can be the child of the flesh, that is the law and earthly, fleshly things or we can be the child of the spirit, that is of promise and grace. Paul says our mother is in heaven. We are God’s children through adoption. The law has no hold on us and never will. Jerusalem and this world has no claim on us and never will. Jesus is making us a home in the new Jerusalem in heaven and that is where we wish to go.
Do not try to make the spiritual fleshly. The only circumcision that God cares about is the circumcision of our heart. He sent His son to abolish the law by fulfilling it. That son died on the cross and took our sins upon Himself that we might escape this vale of tears. We sing, “How beautiful heaven must be,” not “How I long to live in Jerusalem.”
Task for Today: Be free. Accept the heavenly Jerusalem as your mother. Live the life of grace and promise. Desire a better country than this earth. Aim for the city of God, not made with hands. Cling to the cross by which the former things were done away and claim your citizenship in heaven.