Galatians 2:11-21, “11When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. 12Before 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. 13The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.
14When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?
15″We who are Jews by birth and not ‘Gentile sinners’ 16know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.
17″If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! 18If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker. 19For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!””
I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen a fair number of influencial in my lifetime. There are some people you can’t help but like and follow. There are two groups of influencial people from this passage that I want to discuss. 1.) The circumcision group and 2.) The Church leader that is Peter.
1.) There will always be such groups we will have to face. They are the many that are united in thought. Had only one of them showed up, Peter might not have been afraid of them. This is one of the few battles that Peter lost to them. Some rock.
2.) Peter, Peter, Peter, it’s bad enough that you forgot the scripture that Jesus taught you personally, what’s worse is that because you withdrew from your brothers and sisters in the faith, fellow Jewish Christians followed your lead, even good old Barnabas.
Before this day, Peter made no distinction between Jew and Gentile, all believers were Christians. It was the sort of unity to be proud of. Then he stepped on the truth of the Gospel by behaving contrary to it. Have you ever done it? I’m pretty sure I have at one point or the other. Fortunately, Paul was there for some damage control. Division has no place in the Christian church. It’s not Jew here Gentile there. It’s not men here women there. It’s not Caucasian here African-Amercian there. It’s just the church, the body of believers, and Christians. So leaders, remember your influence can do more harm than good if you’re not careful.