Ok, back for another post here. I've been busy, as I'm in the last 2 weeks of a set of classes. I have 4 huge assignments due this upcoming Monday and Tuesday. One of them is a 14 page exegesis on 1st Timothy 2: 11-15. One of the other big ones is a 10 page paper on "My Rules For Life." The second one is much easier, as it does not have to be formatted and cited according to the SBL formatting rules. That said, I haven't much time for blog posts. However, I did want to type one out. I want to begin talking about the next Sunday morning series I'll be preaching (starting in March). The name of the series is called "Real Life Faith: Living An Authentic LIfe." One week 1, one of the passages I'll be covering is
Galatians 2: 11-14
11 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he [i]stood condemned. 12 For prior to the coming of certain men from [j]James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing [k]the party of the circumcision. 13 The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that they were not [l]straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, “If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews? [m]
Most know that Apostle Paul wrote this letter. In it, Paul is talking about how the Lord has given him a special calling to preach to the gentiles, while Peter has been called to reach his fellow Jewish brothers and sisters. Then, starting in vs. 11, Paul tells of an interaction he had with Peter, and it wasn't a pleasant one. Paul had to correct Peter in front of other people, as Peter was not living out the message of the Gospel and worse, Peter was leading others astray (in this particular area). Peter was showing partiality towards fellow Jews.
My question is: why would Peter do this? Did Peter know it was wrong?
Well, the answer to the second question is a resounding "YES," Peter knew his actions were wrong. When these influential Jews were not around, Peter had no problem eating with the gentiles. It was only when these men came around that Peter found himself staying away from the "unwashed."
I believe the answer to our first question is "Fear." Not fear like "Peter is afraid of the influential Jewish men," rather, Peter (on this occasion) had fear of man. No doubt, Peter had built a reputation up over the years and was well known. Peter did not want to appear "less than" in front of the Jewish men, therefore, he made the mistake of allowing the outward righteousness of the law override the inward righteousness of grace.
I will talk more about this (hopefully) later next week. God Bless.