11 When Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. 13 The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.
All these many years later it is hard to communicate the deep divide between Jewish people and non-Jewish people. (aka. Gentiles) Theologically, in Christ this barrier had been broken but in practice things were still getting “worked out”. Was it perceived by Peter and Barnabas as one small dinner, “what does it matter?” It’s impossible now to know what they were thinking when they chose not to eat with the gentile Christians. We know what Paul thought, because he tells us. Paul was one of those friends who can’t overlook anything, everything matters and if he has to embarrass you publicly, he will! (Ps. Dale).
Thoughts for the day
- What does this passage tell us about God and people?
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
- What is one way you can apply this truth to your life today?
- Who can you encourage with this story/message?
Pray for somewhere in the world that needs God’s attention. Flick to a news app or website, and pick a news story to pray for.