Galatians 2:11-15

 

Gal 2:11 (KJB)
But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
 
Withstood - Resisted or opposed
Blamed - Faulted or condemned
 
Some time had passed since Paul, Barnabas, and Titus had departed Jerusalem and returned to Antioch. During their stay in Antioch, Peter had come to see the vibrant church. At this time Paul had a problem with Peter in which Peter needed to be corrected. So the verse tells us that when Peter came Paul had opposed him because of a major fault that Peter still held on to. This chiding by Paul shows that he was definitely on par with the chief apostles.
 
Gal 2:12 (KJB)
For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.
 
Peter was still holding on to one of the 341 Rabbinical rules that was added to their law. It was that the Jews should not eat with the Gentiles because this would defile them. However, in Godís kingdom, there was no such law because all the believers are on the same ground, whether Jew or Gentile. Peter had eaten with the Gentiles but when these people came from the Jerusalem church, and no doubt some may have been Jewish converts and according to verse 4 of this chapter, some may have been the false teachers. Peter withdrew from eating with the Gentiles and ate with the Jews. Peter had received the vision in Acts 10 concerning that what God calls clean, we must never call common. This applied to the Gentile Christians that they were on the same spiritual level as the Jewish Christians. However, the customs of the Jews took a while to remove themselves from the Christian church since these Jews had followed the law of Moses for 1500 years and deprogramming does take time but Peter had received a special vision concerning this situation. Paul knew that what Peter did was wrong and must be corrected as soon as possible.
 
Gal 2:13 (KJB)
And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.
 
Dissembled - To be joined in hypocrisy
Dissimulation - Hypocrisy or insincerity
 
Whenever a leader engages in some type of activity, even though it may be wrong, unfortunately, there will always be people who will follow them. Since Peter was an apostle, these other Jews probably thought what he was doing was correct and so they followed him in his hypocrisy. The other Jews who followed Peter in this act were the new converts to Christianity. They obviously did not know what he was doing but they probably figured that if Peter was doing it, then they should join. The other amazing thing was that Barnabas, of Cyprus, even separated himself from the Gentile Christians. This is why Paul had to correct Peter in this wrongful act or else it would spread throughout all the young churches.
 
Gal 2:14 (KJB)
But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
 
Uprightly - Act correctly
 
Paul had seen that they were not acting correctly according to the true gospel, so Paul had chided Peter but he did it in front of an assembly so all would hear what was said and this way no one could tell any false stories, whether intentionally or inadvertently. This sin was being done publicly and all those who partook in it must know that that this type of segregation is not tolerated in the Kingdom of God. When Peter ate and fellowshipped with the Gentiles, he was breaking down the religious and ethnic barriers which would have kept them separate before salvation. By breaking down these barriers, Peter was living like a Gentile. When he acted in this manner, Paul then chided him as to why he would want the Gentiles to live as the Jews? In other words, Peter was drawing them away toward the keeping of the law of Moses which would have played perfectly into the hand of the false teachers among them.
 
Gal 2:15 (KJB)
We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,
 
Paul was reminding Peter and all the Jewish Christians who were present that they were Jews by nature, meaning that they were physical descendants of Abraham and had the oracles of God committed unto them. God had a special relationship with ancient Israel because it was through them the Messiah would come. The Gentiles, were just the opposite, they were heathens and idolaters and were completely outside of the covenants. (Eph 2:11-12 KJV) Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; {12} That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now because of free grace, both Jews and Gentiles, who became saved, were all on equal ground before God. There was no need anymore t keep the law of Moses since Christ was the end of the law to those who believe. (Rom 10:4 KJV) For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

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