Hagar and Sarah

(The son of the slave and the son of the free woman)

Bible verses: Galatians 4:21-31

A word list at the end of each Bible study explains words that have a *star by them. These are more difficult words.


Paul uses the story of *Abraham’s children to explain more about sons. God made a promise to *Abraham. Through *Abraham’s children, God would give something good to *people from every country on earth. But *Abraham and his wife, Sarah, had no son. And they were old.

*Abraham wanted to make something happen. So he had a son by Sarah’s slave. (In those days, many *people would have thought that this was quite a good action.) The slave’s name was Hagar. The son’s name was Ishmael.

Then God gave *Abraham and Sarah their own son. His name was Isaac. He was the true son. *Abraham’s action caused trouble later. Isaac’s sons and Ishmael’s sons were enemies

Hagar is a *picture of the old rules. Sinai Mountain was where God gave these rules to the children of *Abraham. Jerusalem became the main city for *people who obeyed the old rules. They were not free *people.

The ‘Jerusalem that is above’ is the main city in *heaven. People here are free people. And this is the true home for Christians. Isaac is a *picture of the free *people.


V21 ~ What does the word ‘*authority’ mean to you?

V22 ~ Who were the mothers of *Abraham’s two sons?
How were these women different?

V23 ~ How were their sons different?

V24 ~ ‘These two women are like *pictures ’. What are the *pictures?

V25 ~ What happened on Sinai Mountain? How did this change *people’s lives?

V26 ~ How is ‘the Jerusalem that is above’ different from Jerusalem city on earth?

V27 ~ Christians are like children of Sarah, the free woman.
Why can Sarah be happy now?

V28 ~ Why are the Galatians like Sarah’s son, Isaac?

V29 ~ Isaac and Ishmael are *pictures of Paul and the wrong teachers. What does this mean?

V30,31 ~ Do you think that Paul wants the Christians to do something?

Something to do

You are a son of God. (Here this means men and women.) God loves you very much. Think about what this means.

Because you are a child of God, you are a free person. Talk about what this means a) to the Christians in Galatia b) to you.

Paul writes of ‘the Jerusalem that is above’. We are not there yet! Read Revelation 21:1-5 to find out more about this.

Words to explain

authority ~ the power to make something happen. To make someone do something.

heaven ~ where God is. Where Christians will be for ever when they die.

People ~ men and women.

picture ~ an idea that you can see in your mind.

See the other studies in this series: Explore Paul’s letter to the Galatians.