March 13th, 2007
If someone is doing something wrong and creating trouble, they often don’t know how much trouble they’re creating. In a workplace, one person’s abrupt mannerisms may be causing a lot more unrest than they imagine. They might be unaware of how many customers they are losing as a result of their rudeness, or they may be causing other employees to resign. Someone has to pluck up the courage to confront them. In today’s reading, Paul had to pluck up the courage to confront Peter, because Peter had suddenly stopped associating with the Gentiles because he was afraid that it might not look good to some strictly Jewish people.
Paul’s Letter to the Galatians — Chapter 2
2:1 Fourteen years later I again went to Jerusalem with Barnabas, also taking Titus with me. 2:2 I went as the result of a revelation, and I privately laid before the acknowledged leaders the Good News which I preach amongst the Gentiles, to make sure that I was not working away for nothing. 2:3 Titus who was with me was Greek, but he was not required to be circumcised. 2:4 This issue arose because some false brothers had secretly stolen in to spy on our freedom which we have in Christ Jesus, and to enslave us. 2:5 We did not give way to them even for an hour, so that the truth of the Good News would continue with you. 2:6 Those who were acknowledged as leaders — whatever they were, it makes no difference to me, as God does not show favouritism — had nothing to add. 2:7 On the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the Good News for Gentiles, just as Peter was entrusted with the Good News for the Jews 2:8 — because the one who used Peter as an apostle to the Jews also used me for the Gentiles — 2:9 and when they understood the grace that had been given to me, James and Peter and John, who were recognised as pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship. We would go to the Gentiles, and they would go to the Jews. 2:10 They asked only that we remember the poor, which I was already keen to do.
2:11 But when Peter came to Antioch, I resisted him to his face, because he was wrong. 2:12 He had eaten with Gentiles until some people came from James. When they arrived, he pulled back and separated himself, because he was afraid of the people who say that Christians must be circumcised. 2:13 The rest of the Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy. 2:14 When I saw that they were not living according to the truth of the Good News, I said to Peter in front of them all, “If you are a Jew, but live like a Gentile instead of a Jew, why do you require the Gentiles to live like Jews?
2:15 “We are Jews by nature, and not Gentile sinners, 2:16 but we know that someone is justified not by obeying the law but through faith in Jesus Christ. We believed in Christ Jesus so that we could be justified by faith in Christ, and not by obeying the law, because nobody will be justified by obeying the law. 2:17 While we were seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves were found to be sinners. Does that mean Christ caused sin? Certainly not! 2:18 If I rebuild the things which I destroyed, I prove that I am a wrongdoer. 2:19 Because of the law I died to the law, so that I could live for God. 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me. The earthly life which I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me. 2:21 I do not treat the grace of God as worth nothing. If righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing!”
Entry Filed under: Courage