Jerome, Commentary on Galatians, [J.P. Migne, Editor]. Patrologiae Tomus XXVI. Paris: D’Ambroise, Pres La Barriere D’Enfer, ou Petit-Montrouge, 1845. pp. 307-438. Galatians 6:1-5.
At the outset of Galatians 6, the apostle instructs those who are spiritual to help those who are entrapped in sin. Jerome ties this idea to the character of God, wanting none to die but all to come to repentance (Jerome, Galatians, 425). The help given in such situations is to be gentle in nature, bringing the testimony of Christ, not a harsh rebuke. Jerome makes this encouragement because the person who is struggling with sin already knows the burden of the struggle. Likewise the person bringing aid knows how hard it is to live a life of purity (Jerome, Galatians, 426). The burden of sin is a tremendous weight, as Jerome describes it. For this reason, in verse two, Paul tells the Galatians to bear one another’s burdens (Jerome, Galatians, 427). As Jesus has borne our sins, then, we bear the sins of others. Jerome points out that this work fulfills the law of Christ, which is to love our neighbor.
What of the person who is unwilling to love his neighbor by bearing his burden? Verse three describes that person as thinking too much of himself. Jerome comments that he loves himself rather than loving God (Jerome, Galatians, 428). His mind deceives himself, defeating logic. He takes glory to himself (v. 4). Jerome compares this individual to an athlete who rejoices at beating a feeble opponent instead of a strong one. On the contrary, the Christian rejoices in the cross of Jesus (Jerome, Galatians, 429).